A Prayer

A prayer from Rev. Victoria Safford

Unless you know someone, or know someone who knows someone
whose beloved mother died,
whose beloved father died, gasping for air all alone in the room,
except for the nurse, whose presence changed everything,
changed “all alone” to not alone in the moment of his passing,
the holy and breathless transition, then and there, into spirit-self and mystery -

Unless you know someone, or know someone who knows someone,
whose beloved auntie, sister, brother, neighbor, nephew, niece
or cousin, or (God forbid) their child, has died,
or unless you maybe know the nurse,
or the aide, night after night patiently abiding,
or the attending physician, exhausted,
weeping unprofessionally, uncontrollably, inconsolably
in rage and sorrow in the hall
face against the wall, fist pounding -

Unless you know one of these 220,000 beloveds,
or the millions and millions of lives they touched,
the hearts and the bodies they touched, in their lives-

it’s hard to believe in the 8th month of our plague
how many have died and are dying – and will.

In the last weeks of the dying year, the veil is thinning, as it does,
between our bright and busy world
and the silence where the dead have gone.
In the rustle of leaves, the wind that whirls this shroud of snow,
they whisper now, “Remember.”
“Remember who we were. Remember who you are. Be brave.”
In their honor, in their name,
in the name of the nurse and the doctor, the aide,
may we never develop herd immunity
to sorrow or to weeping.
Our dead and our living are worthy of our tears.

Photo by EVG Culture | Pexels