NO EMOTION BENDS US in half like grief does. But in normal times, we can at least take turns grieving. We have rituals, and someone can hold us, and someone else can bring the lasagna, or come to sit shiva, or attend the funeral. With a pandemic, those rituals have been interrupted. On top of that, there’s been a wave of collective grief unlike anything most of us have ever witnessed.
There have been the literal deaths caused by illness, which may include people we know. There have also been deaths by the thousands of people we don’t know, but whose pictures we still see and whose loss we still mourn—the grandmas and doctors and Broadway stars. We are, after all, all connected. And then there are the metaphorical deaths: graduations, proms, sports seasons. The weddings pushed back, book tours halted, trips forfeited. The people we want to go see, unseen. And that’s if we’re lucky and have avoided losing a job or losing a loved one.
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