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Gone But Not Forgotten

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Covid continues to steal our loved ones, but we will not let them disappear!

Every day the numbers rise. Today it’s four million and fifty-five hundred thousand dead. Four and half million people gone. That’s half of North Carolina’s population or all of Colorado empty. Can you imagine? It’s almost too big to wrap my head around. My heart aches for the millions of kids who lost mothers and fathers. I weep for those who died alone seasoned in life, rich with wisdom and experience their stories gone forever. The burden of youth taken breaks my heart and cripples me to my knees—nothing can compare to such a loss. This fall, holiday tables strewn with empty plates will reflect the missing faces. Our hearts will weep for the many empty places. By 2022, no one on this earth will be untouched by the pandemic. 

Around the World Hearts Cry

The hearts of this world cry out. Fear, pain, loss, are all around. How do we heal—we remember. Around the world, memorials are paying homage to loved ones no longer here. In London mothers, fathers, children, and brothers, have come and painted hearts on the walls across from British Parliament beside the River Thames in memory of Covid lost. Names of the fallen fill the hearts and cover over 500 meters of stone.

“Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on the snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.”

Across America Biden invited cities and states to fill parks with chairs. A party, a speech, a graduation perhaps, Nay—a memorial. Empty seats remind us of those who could have graduated or could have spoken, but their words and their wisdom are gone. In Argentina, hundreds of Argentine flags line the shore. Across the sea, in Italy dignitaries plant saplings to commemorate the convoy of army trucks that rolled down the street the day Bergamo’s death toll exceeded cemetery capacity, and the dead had to be transported out of the city. In China, according to aljazeera.com, a Taoist priest explained, “No matter what religion or beliefs they hold, their spirit deserves to be passed on. In fact, they live on in our hearts.” He add[ed] that Taoists use memorial tablets to give souls a place to rest after death.”

Timeless Gratitude

“Scrubs on, then scrubs off. Put others before ourselves. Eat, sleep, and repeat.”

Jamie Jill Maness, clinical Nurse, DOCR

Lest we be ungrateful, we must remember those who continue to sacrifice. We must remember our front line, the citizens made soldiers. Thank you for holding our loved ones hands as they left this world in isolation. Thank you to our artists who honor them. Artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada, who painted a 20,000 square foot mural in the Queens Museum parking lot. Also in Portugal, Alexandre Farto who carved ten masked healthcare workers faces across an outdoor wall at the São João University Hospital Centre in Porto. Thank you. Lastly, all of us, we must remember those who have gone. Show gratitude for those here who tire long, and please put a mask on.

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