The past few months have been a universal experience of grief. Recently, I realized that I have personally traveled through each stage...
Shock: “Colleges are closed?! How?! This line at Market Basket rivals what I see on Black Friday!”
Denial: Student: “Ms. Tremarche, would we ever close?” Me: “No.” (literally twelve hours before we closed)
Anger: “I just hate everything about remote teaching. This is not what I signed up for.” (use your imagination)
Bargaining: “Maybe we could go back by the end of April and that would still be okay. Not ideal, but okay…”
Depression: Governor Baker calls off the rest of the school year. I go to my classroom in Keefe and cry.
Testing: “But we’re 100% in the clear for the fall….Right??”
Acceptance:…Maybe I’m here? Maybe I’m too tired to be anywhere else?
Pretty early on in the pandemic, I came across this poem by Kitty O’Meara:
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.
And so I wonder, how much of this time is meant to help us heal. It’s hard to confront yourself, your shadows, and your flaws, but those experiences allow us to know ourselves, and one another, more deeply. How can this time allow us to reflect on our culture or how we invest our time? How can we heal?
My personal hope for this summer is to find peace and healing. For me, God is at the center of that search. We frequently hear, “Where two or three are gathered, [enter possible footnote: or wherever one is because of social distancing protocols],” God is there. We hear in the Gospel, “Ask and you will receive.” So ask! Ask God to walk with you, sit with you, and heal with you.
I hope each member of our community finds their own version of healing this summer and allows God to be there, too.
—Kate Tremarche serves as a member of the math department.