Social distancing is still in effect for many of us — probably most of us. And as I’ve watched from my home on the sidelines, the saddest news I’ve received has been the struggles of families who’ve suffered losses. Many of the stories I’ve heard or read in the media have involved inability to retrieve bodies of loved ones, or being states or countries away and having to video chat farewells or attend funerals / memorials / wakes via livestreams. Human culture seeks the solace of burial — a final celebration and ceremony of lives we were connected with. Closure. An opportunity to say our farewells properly or to just grieve.
Under normal circumstances, street memorials would be put in place or vigils held as friends gathered to remember. Flowers decorating a cross on the roadside… but this is COVID and we shouldn’t be gathering. Funerals are becoming something entirely different. There are articles about how coronavirus has and will likely continue to change mourning traditions.
Live while we can.
Laugh while we can.
While we can…
Things may seem bleak — and I’m sure social distancing and lockdowns aren’t really helping. Like many of you, I’ve been discouraged or even angered by local commentary which I sometimes can’t help but see. We see it all — from those upset by people not wearing masks to those who feel that wearing them is an encroachment on our human rights. It’s easy to feel caught in the middle of whatever arguments we’re seeing.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded of a quote in the final episode of the first season of the TV show Army Wives. A Veteran’s spouse myself, I cannot help but draw comparisons between what the world is going through now and what many American military spouses go through daily. In the show, there’s an Army wife who works as a radio personality on Post. Her show is called, ‘Have At It’ with Pamela Moran. Here is the quote:
Pamela: [over the air on her show, ‘Have At It’] Ok, so in case you were wondering why it’s been so busy on Fort Marshall today, it’s because we’ve gone to FPCON Alpha Plus, and we know ‘Alpha’ relates to the global threat of terrorism. But…hell, we’ve been to Alpha Plus here before. We’ve bought the gas masks, we’ve stocked up on bottled water. But, there’s one thing we can never be prepared for, and that’s the fear. How do we handle the fear? My son Lucas once asked me if the ‘bad guys’ were going to blow us up. How do you answer that? How do you explain terrorism to your kid? How do you explain that at any time, any place, someone could just decide to take us all out? And that’s why terrorism works, because we can’t explain it, we can’t predict it, it can happen any time, anywhere, by anyone. So, all we can do is trust that the military has our backs, and then we let it go. Because the only way to stop the fear is by living. Just living, being with your family, your friends, your community. Look, there is nothing we can do about it – except to seize the day. We live while we can, laugh while we can, love while we can. And that, my friends, is how we beat terrorism. So, ‘Have At It.’Pamela Moran, character on Army Wives, season 1 episode 13, Goodbye Stranger — Wikiquotes — underlining is my own.
How do you explain COVID to your kids — or to your own inner child? All we can do is trust. I put my trust, my faith, my hope — in God. But what if we don’t believe in Him? Or any god, for that matter? I would say to seek out healthy and fulfilling things in which to put your focus. Like yoga, meditation, eating healthier, growing a garden, taking more walks, or working to achieve a goal. Or even breathing. Breathing is awesome — I’ve briefly forgotten how a couple times since March, so I can assure you that air is gold… and not just because of pollen. The point is: Seize your day.
I’ve dedicated the cover art for this month’s bullet journal to the memory of those who’ve passed. If you would care to join me, feel free to use the hashtag #COVID19artmemorial.
Thank you Heroes!
For all that you have and will continue to endure on behalf of others. We love y’all! Stay well!
Thank you for reading.