Life is changing. It changed during the aftermath following the collapse of the Twin Towers. At that time, health experts coined the expression ‘ communal grief ‘ to describe society’s condition. Today, the succession of unexpected changes that have occurred since the spread of Covid 19 have left hundreds of thousands in despair, their sense of security shattered, their definition of normal destroyed. Mankind is groaning in pain and confusion.
Although our methods for dealing with grief may differ, the future for us all is an unknown and at this time, very tenuous and unsure. Whereas in the past before the pandemic, the future was comprised of a number of certainties, those certainties are no longer there. The people we depended upon for reassurance are no longer capable of satisfying that need. We are all on the emotional roller-coaster and getting off is becoming almost impossible.
Along with the grief we are experiencing, there are a growing number of us who are succumbing to bouts of anxiety, anger, guilt, doubt and disbelief. Social distancing has closed churches, synagogues, mosques and halls. The faith of many is being tested. Philosophies and long held belief structures are crumbling. People are not withdrawing into a private world, but are instead seeking the comfort of groups and crowds, contrary to the advice of the authorities, contrary to logic. The pandemic is forcing everyone to reevaluate their priorities. Everyone, children included , have had to face their mortality.
Empathy unites us. As hopelessness and helplessness threaten to overtake us, our humanity strives to understand the language of suffering. With an opened mind and impartial heart we reach out to the floundering among us, desirous of providing a measure of comfort, more than just a semblance of care.
Around the world, people from all walks of life, are suffering together, crying together, grieving together. Across borders, beyond language, transcending nationality and religion, gender and lifestyle, preservation of the human race is incumbent upon each and every one of us. I am aware of our common grief and more than that, I am aware of our common recovery. A better world is possible.