- Glenn Sonnenberg
Musings from the Bunker 12/13/20
Good morning and happy Sunday,
Ordinarily Sundays are reserved for “in his own words,” a selection of proclamations of our Supreme Leader. But because the Supreme Court ended the charade of legal challenges this week and the Electoral College meets tomorrow, the pronouncements of Mr. Trump should take on lesser import each week. Sure, we will continue to listen to baseless claims that he couldn’t possibly have lost this “rigged” election and some shameless Members of Congress will object to some swing states’ certifications. And sure, we will continue to read of pardons of the great and small., primarily those in Mr. Trump's personal financial and political orbit. And while I would hope not, we likely will see further actions taken in the rush to make things more difficult for the incoming administration, so that America can take longer to recover and create electoral advantage for the President and his acolytes. But it’s basically over, mercifully and not soon enough.
Instead I'd like to focus on something else. Today if a tough day--a day to remember a profound loss. But rather than dwell on my own loss so publicly, I’d like, instead, to remember those that have succumbed to the scourge of this pandemic, many unnecessarily due to the wanton disregard for human life that has guided this administration. Tens of thousands—now hundreds of thousands—of American families are experiencing this loss as we continue to mismanage this crisis.
As the numbers pile up, we are all lessened by those who have been lost. To many of us, thankfully, the loss of nearly 300,000 people—and growing—is distant and theoretical. But to the millions of family and friends affected by these losses, these numbers are palpable, real and irretrievable. All the talk of allowing the weak to die is disgraceful. The loss of a single life affects thousands of others.
Everyone who loses someone to this scourge will grieve. We all have experienced losses—some after a long life lived and some taken too soon by COVID or other calamity. Grief if an ineffable emotion that affects everyone differently. It can be stultifying if one allows it. If, however, it is allowed to evolve—if it can be allowed to transmorph from sadness to become a testament to a life lived and a celebration of moments of joy brought by that person—it can help provide context for our own lives and greater empathy for the pain of others.
I cannot know whether those no longer with us live somewhere beyond our temporal world but that shouldn’t matter. I haven’t enough faith to blindly accept some religious explanation of a hereafter but hope it might and acknowledge the comfort that construct can provide. What I do know is that those people whom we miss still live inside of us. Rather than focusing on lives lost, I have determined it is far better to focus on the joy in those lives and how they have enriched our own. It is said that we are closer to people when they are gone from this Earth than when they were here because we carry them with us, in our hearts, always.
As David Copperfield says toward the end of the story, love and loss live together side by side.
Wishing you a happy, peaceful, Sunday,