Choose To Witness

“Grief must be witnessed,” said Kessler, the grief expert. “We want to know our loved ones’ life and death mattered. We want our family and friends to witness it, our community and we need our country to witness it. And it’s not happening on any level.” -David Kessler (LA Times)

Do you choose to turn away from the suffering and the over 90,000 deaths from coronavirus in this country? The flags are lowered in the US capitol this weekend to honor all those deaths. One of the dead is my younger brother John Barry. I try to tell myself those flags are lowered for him too. I am not able to view his body or have a funeral service because of the pandemic. I was able to see him on skype right before and up to his death. If this is the new normal, I want none of it. I want to have some kind of memorial for my brother in the future when his family can gather safely. I want there to be some kind of permanent memorial for him. I want the world to know he mattered.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill

Quote from article in LA Times, Little sense of shared grief as virus deaths near 100,000 by Noah Bierman and Eli Stokols

21 thoughts on “Choose To Witness

  1. Dan Antion

    I am sorry for your loss, Deborah and I am sorry for the way you were forced to deal with it. I do hope that you will be able to have a meaningful memorial service for him at some point. As limited as it was, I’m glad you were able to connect with him prior to his death. I’m sure that meant something to him.

    Liked by 3 people

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I am glad that I at least had skype on the day he died and that he knew I was with him in that way. We were talking and I could see him. He died suddenly while we were talking. It was not expected because he seemed to be recovering. That is what makes it even more painful. Thank you, Dan, for your support.

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  2. JoAnna

    I’m so sorry about your brother. Thank you for sharing this burden with us, Deborah. I have momentarily been overwhelmed by the number of deaths, and then I think maybe I close myself to it. But we as a nation and a world, need to feel this reality and grieve together in our own ways. Thank you for opening my eyes and my heart wider. I’m thankful you got to skype with your brother. I’m sending prayers for peace and comfort to you and your family.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I too am overwhelmed by the numbers but I think we need to think that these are all someone’s brother, sister, mother, father, child, husband, wife, grandparent…And each of them matters. Thank you for your prayers. ❤

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  3. annanolan2014

    Naturally, you want a memorial for your brother, Deborah; his passing must have been extremely painful to you and your family. I am sure that, when you are able to organise a ceremony, it will be a fitting tribute to him, showing the world that he did matter. My thoughts and prayers are with you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Susan Scott

    Deborah, you will have a proper memorial for him. You’re grieving for him currently and will continue to, for who knows how long. I’ve been thinking that your Memorial day coming up for lives lost during the war, would be an apt time also this time round for those whose lives are lost because of covid-19. Although they are two separate things/events. And current deaths are particularly painful given that in most instances one cannot even be with one’s loved one. Let your grief take its own time …

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Yes, our flags at our national capitol are flying at half mast this weekend for the COVID dead, which is good. And I think we should have a National Day of Mourning whenever this is over. But it is a uniquely painful experience to lose a loved on during this time in our country as you acknowledge. I wanted to bear witness and maybe others will think about it too. We do plan to have something for my brother in the future. The grief will take time, you are right. Thank you, Susan

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  5. Cynthia Diament

    Debbie, I am thinking of you at this most difficult time. I know you are grieving and grief is a process that takes time. We always wish it would quicken its pace since it is heartbreaking. John was so blessed to have you as a sister and your grief can be more profound because you had such a special connection with each other. The quote from Kessler is sobering but from what you wrote, I know the day will come when you can give John the proper memorial. The fact that you write about it brings all of us much closer to him and to you. We want to share in your grief to lessen your burden. In time, you will achieve what you want to memorialize him. In the meantime, may fond memories console you and may his memory always be a blessing.
    Love,
    Cynthia

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. rolandclarke

    Ever since I read about your brother’s tragic passing, I’ve been trying to find the right words at such a difficult time, especially when you are the third WEP writer to suffer such a personal tragedy. Your brother deserves a proper memorial service – as do the thousands of others lost at this terrible time. I will continue to pray for all of them and their families, plus those in the front lines still. But I also pray for the individuals I know – albeit digitally, but by name at least. Your brother is more than a name to me, as John Barry was born the same year as me and he fought the same MonSter. May my blessings and tears mean something.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Your blessings, prayers, and tears mean so much, Roland. I know you have an understanding of what my brother went through during his life. He had low points but was really brave as well. Even after losing so much mobility and suffering these last health problems he could still smile and look forward to the future.

      Liked by 1 person

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