Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

How’s your covid grief?

“How’s your covid grief these days?”

Those words, which traveled across an ocean and many borders as a DM, supplied a recognition that’s too rare in this so-called post-pandemic world: someone else feels stuck in mourning.

For without collective reckoning of what humanity has gone and is still going through …

Without collective processing of the innumerable losses as our sacred shared duty …

Without public do-it-ourselves altars, memorials, and other pandemic grief spaces woven into the public landscape, acknowledging the immensity of the collective and individual trauma and myriad absences …

Without honoring our dead and actively fighting for the living …

Without collective care for those who are sick, disabled, grappling with long covid, or dying …

Without people routinely inquiring into each other’s losses in this world where there’s so much to mourn and grieving demands its own good, communal time …

Without masks and other visible gestures of everyday forms of looking out for the well-being of all …

Without regard for how some people are being cut off from living fully and in community because they are at risk while so much of social and work life is “back to normal” …

Without those in our own anarchist(ic) circles steadfastly, reciprocally, and without question always including and lovingly abiding by covid and other harm reduction as practices in all our spaces …

How can one not be stuck?

How can one not feel dead inside? A hollow shell? Alone?

Grieving needs the company of others, not merely to hold the profundity of any loss and make it more bearable, but to witness, believe, and remember the loss, and thus integrate it into how we want to move forward.

Without that, especially in the face of the human-made catastrophe of a global pandemic, most of humanity has shifted backward into a delusional normal that denies both death and qualitative life, thereby ensuring the hum of a murderous social system.

A few, too few, take time to ask each other and really listen to the reply, “How’s your grief?”

With that small act, mourning rebelliously finds some ground for us to get unstuck.

#CollectiveCare #RebelliousMourning #CollectiveWorkOfGrief

(photo: black-and-white etching-style image of skull wheat pasted on a white-painted brick wall, with the edge of the forehead peeling off a bit, as seen in Tio’tia:ke/Montreal, winter 2023)


One comment on “How’s your covid grief?

  1. Pingback: This! March 2023 – Pieceoplastic

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This entry was posted on March 26, 2023 by in Uncategorized.
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