Death and suffering surround us all the time, but typically the mourning are not in danger of being trampled by public debate. These deaths are now front-page news, fodder for Twitter fights or cable pundits. And many of us are distracted, enraged, scared, or just doing what we can to manage a full plate of immediate worries. But in this period, we should spare a moment for sorrow and grief. This is the human thing to do; it is what following through on the pledge to be in this together actually means.If we spare a moment, we give our neighbors the simple communal feeling of being seen in their loss. If we spare a moment, we minimize the risk of sending a public signal to those who have just lost their world that the rest of the world is indifferent to their suffering. If we spare a moment, we acknowledge that the national push to find solutions and get back to normal at some point, as reasonable as that is, is impossible for many.Ideally a public figure would use his platform, as heroic leaders have in the past, to set this tone. In the absence of that, perhaps we can all use our platforms, whether they be Twitter or the family text chain, to say what I have tried to say here: that we feel your loss and sorrow, even if words are too clumsy. And when words fail altogether, a moment of silence can say You’re not alone, even in a moment of deep loneliness.
The test of a time like this is that it either drives us toward our common humanity, or it drives us apart. Let it be the former.
See more online: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/the-grieving-world/609013/