Dear Editor: Denial and anger are normal stages of grief. I used to think grief was all about dying, but it’s not. One grieves over changes in life, lost friends, lost jobs, lost income, lost health, and any other sorts of losses, including competitions and elections.
The entire United States is experiencing grief because of the pandemic. It has changed our lives, and in our grief, we feel anger, denial and frightening, disorienting angst. None of us wants to think about our own vulnerability, especially to germs so tiny they’re invisible. The things that normally give us strength and hope and comfort are temporarily gone: meeting in person with families and friends, gathering together in churches and faith communities, getting outside our own four walls for recreation and entertainment, traveling to other places. We’ve lost jobs, lost financial security, lost faith in what we read and hear, lost faith in our government. We are adrift. All the routines and connections that kept us sane are in rubble about us.
Into this dark place, I’d like to interject some hope. Here in the northern part of the world, where winter brings darkness and short days, December has always been a month when we dust off our hope, and restore our faith in God, humanity and ourselves. As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” If we cling to our anger, division and denial, we will fall, regardless of vaccines or presidents. Civilization works because people can put aside their differences and fears and work together toward common goals and dreams. We can do that.
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