In the past couple of days the number of deaths in the UK where Covid-19 appears on the death certificate has passed the 100,000 mark. Every death from whatever cause is sad, as someone who touched the lives of others slips away and becomes a memory rather than a living presence with them (though, being honest, we must acknowledge that some of those who slip away have had little interaction with others, and few or none are there to mourn their passing). When someone has had a long and fulfilled life, though there is sadness at their passing, there is also much to remember and celebrate. When someone dies at a younger age, the grief at their loss is made all the harder to bear because of the lost opportunities and potential – the things they might have done, the things they might have seen or experienced had they lived. For so many at the moment losing a loved one or friend comes after a long period of not being able to see each other, to share together in the usual ways, to shake hands/ give hugs/ offer kisses. That often leaves a sense of regret, guilt and anger on top of grief. ‘We didn’t get a chance to say a proper ‘Good-bye.” In hospitals healthcare staff have encountered unprecedented levels of death on their wards: they are professionals, trained to experience death, but also human beings who feel acutely the loss of each person in their care. Let’s hold in our thoughts and prayers all who have lost someone during this pandemic – whether Covid-19 appears on the death certificate or not, and remember the additional pain caused by loss and grieving during the restrictions that are in place
Lord, you know and understand pain and grief, what it means not to have a loved one close by at the time of passing. Be close to all who have lost someone close in this time of pandemic. Help us to be sensitive to their needs, and offer what support we can
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