Grief and gratitude.


Far be it from me to share any encouraging news, but ... The rate of growth in US COVID hospitalizations and deaths has slowed. With hospitalizations, which set another new record today, this isn't necessarily good news; as beds fill up, the bar for getting a bed gets raised, so there may be people who should be in hospital who aren't because there are others who are even sicker. With deaths, however, the slowing rate of growth is a reason for cautious optimism. We can curb the spread of this virus when we decide to make the effort, as we've proven repeatedly. Prevention measures work.
(It looks like new cases have leveled off, but so has testing, so it's hard to know what to make of that.)

As the year draws to a close I'm trying to be intentional about naming and grieving my losses this year. Grieving isn't complaining. Grieving can co-exist with gratitude. And grieving is important for moving forward (one reason we have funerals). So, if you're grieving, I grieve with you and affirm the validity of your pain and reality of your losses--of loved ones, employment, health, social interaction, friendships, opportunities, or even hope itself. Our children missed out on so much this year. So did all of us adults, perhaps more than some of us yet realize. For many of us this year was the culmination of a long, dark season of loss; the person we were and the world that person inhabited four years ago no longer exist. We were reborn, almost against our will, into an unfamiliar world of fewer certainties, both more frightening and more filled with promise. We press forward; there is nothing to go back to but desolation. Here's to a brighter 2021.

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