The death toll is rising. And people in my communities are lying to themselves about its lethality. They lie from ignorance. From fear. Living in a deep state of denial and hopeless despair.
The ones who aren’t lying share memes and try to be informed and they are wearing masks. Trying to do everything, to get everything right.
It’s heartbreaking to watch.
For me, it’s not the deep tragedy of the dying. Which I see. I feel. But it’s not what wrenches my soul.
I’m steeped in death. I know its grip. I know its measure. Death is the brother who walks beside me. Waiting to embrace me when I end.
We all end.
What brings tears to my eyes is all of the people who haven’t been had to form bonds with death. Who are lost and can’t see past this. They keep looking for the mythic safety. The mythic future. And set themselves up to burn out. To collapse. They keep celebrating momentary triumph. And each time tragedy steals back that triumph they break a little bit more.
They are not in a place where they can hear what I would say.
So I’ll say it here. For whoever is still listening.
Life exists in the small moments of joy. It is only in the ever present now that we are. That is the only place you can be in for now. Listen to music contrary to a bleak mood. Turn off the news as much as possible, their job is to sell fear.
Once you have done all that you can. Let the rest go. It’s extremely difficult to acknowledge the lack of control. But try anyway.
And to the Nurses and Doctors and other Healthcare professionals, I know you’ve been taught that you save lives. That is where your heart is.
But what you really do is give people more time. Sometimes there is no time left. Sometimes that’s another hour. Sometimes it’s the rest of their life.
You are burning yourselves up, trying to win an unwinnable war. You can’t change the battle. So you must change the objective.
I know how unhelpful this feels. Let it sit with you. It’s a hard lesson to learn.