Grief, Loss, and Hope
Today is Easter Sunday.
For Christians, the Easter story is full of loss and grief. A time of despair and isolation. Uncertainty and loss of the comfort of everyday life routines. Yet hope remained and the morning brought encouragement and much wonderment and joy. But things had changed. The world would be forever different. A new normal.
Our recent experiences worldwide with the global COVID-19 pandemic mirror the Easter story’s emotions of fear and isolation and yet, hope remains along with human kindness, resiliency and the love of one another.
As spiritual care providers, you carry light and hope to a frightened world. No, you cannot serve as you have in the past. Things are forever changed. You are creating a new normal and that is okay. You work for the creator of the universe who sees past, present, and future in ways we cannot understand. Hold on to your faith and create your new normal sharing the hope of your faith so that the world will be forever different in a better way.
This poem from the COVID-19 Response Team, Belfast, Northern Ireland says it all:
"When you go out and see the empty streets,
the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms,
don't say to yourself, "It looks like the end of the world."
What you are seeing is love in action.
What you’re seeing, in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other,
for our grandparents, our parents, our brothers and sisters,
for the people we will never meet.
People will lose jobs over this.
Some will lose their businesses.
And some will lose their lives.
All the more reason to take a moment, when you’re out on your walk, or on your way to the store, or just watching the news,
to look into the emptiness and marvel at all of that love.
Let it fill you and sustain you.
It isn’t the end of the world.
It is the most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness."
Please pray with me in the manner appropriate to your faith tradition:
God of the universe,
We have felt the darkness, experienced the fear and despair and yet the light returns bringing hope and the beginnings of joy as we find new ways to serve your people. Fill us God with your light. Strengthen us in heart, mind, and body to carry hope, comfort and your presence to all we encounter. Bless our efforts and our families during these frightening times. Thank you for choosing each of us to serve those in crisis.
*Poem origin Belfast Telegraph Digital, March 26, 2020. Watch Belfast COVID-19 Response Team Urges Public to see Empty Streets as Love in Action