We Need Our National Day Of Mourning - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

We Need Our National Day Of Mourning

COVID-19 is a brutal evaluator, and the painful grips of racism and division are not absent from its reach.

We are in pain. We are angry. We are hurt. We are scared.

But we can overcome.

In all of our most hopeless moments: those we love died alone, no hopes of hugging, distant funerals on a screen, friends no longer seen in school; the next day that never comes;

Dances remain un-danced, practice in months’-long pauses, and our frontline workers are our soldiers.

In death’s struggle, we know no rank. Only lost love is what we know. The cashier, the manager wiping the carts, the doctor holding the phone for loved ones, and the one delivering pizza to your home are all one. An unknown researcher is now a potential MVP at the Super Bowl.

Though our veins are blue or hearts are red.

Great nations stand as one when tested to the brink.

Let’s have that national day of mourning, 100,000 deaths in three months.

I ask our governors to take up this cause, star by star and stripe by stripe because as a wise Navy Seal once said, in the darkest moments we must remain calm.

This year, let us have a parade, full of beautiful floats, that show all we’ve lost.

Let the empty spaces be the places that commemorate where they would stand.

Let your family make a standing image of each one of so many lost, so that they can come to life for us.

Let us grieve; let us cry, even the protested and protestors.

Because it is in the darkest moments that a new birth comes.

We are never alone if we chose not to be.

Let this day be a transition from grief to eventual hope.

True love provides us with the unbearable company of loss, while grief provides a pathway toward hope, and hope brings new beginnings and a new capacity to love those we would have never loved.

Instead of dying for breathing, we can thrive with hugging.

The eternity of life is in all life; it is in breathing … freedom from all that suppresses and oppresses us, whether it’s COVID-19 or in being forgotten and unseen.

About the author

Earl Yarington

Earl Yarington is an associate professor of English at Prince George’s Community College and a graduate student in clinical social work at Louisiana State University. He is also obtaining sex therapy certification through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. He interned in corrections statewide for a sex offender treatment program. Earl also authored a book under pen name Lolita in the Lion's Den (https://www.amazon.com/Lolita-Lions-Den-Pre-Tween-Juxtaposition/dp/1499717407) that addresses the complexity of sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse for people coming to terms with conflicting thoughts and ultimately their own identities. Contact the author.

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