“Something that is loved is never lost.”
– Toni Morrison, Beloved
Grief is highly personal and can be a lonely reality. Once it is experienced with others, however, there is a striking palpable shift. That moment when grief is expressed out loud or with other people is the moment when something locked becomes unlocked. Personal grief becomes collective grief and the deep sorrow and loss become invisible threads that connect our humanity.
Many cultures prioritize community mourning and have rituals that provide support to the bereaved. These practices recognize the importance of coming together to reassure one another and express sadness in a safe gathering. During the pandemic, these opportunities to talk about loss, give and receive comfort, mourn, and care for mourners were suspended. In essence, one’s personal grief experience was also dismissed.
Community remembering honors the person who has died. It brings connection, acknowledgement of loss, acceptance of grief, and allows sadness to flow and be heard.
To honor the loss of life in our community throughout the past difficult year, the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership is providing space through which our community can collectively honor and grieve loved ones who have died throughout the pandemic from any cause. As you know, a death of any kind has meant giving up or limiting funeral services and often not being able to say goodbye.
We invite all of you to join this community memorial, and submit the names of any loved ones whom you have lost, if you have an experience to share.