Spiritual Directors International

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Big Rant and Little Prayer During COVID-19

Guest Author: 
Anne L. Simmonds

It’s kind of a death
Death of life as we’ve known it.
It’s only starting to sink in.
I feel bereft.
I’m letting go of things
One by one:
The hugs
seeing family
lunches with friends
classes at the YMCA

summer festivals
The farmer’s market
The summer holiday
Fall courses —
The list is endless and with each passing day it only grows:
Art classes
More hugs

This is real grief
This is unknown territory
This is sadness
Loss of the familiar
Loss of looking forward
Loss of anticipation
Complete loss of what was.

Fighting against what is:
The sameness
The masks
The appropriate distance
The plexiglass
The tape markers
The plywood storefronts
The lineups
I’m tired of it all
I want it to end
but all I hear and see are signs that it won’t end
The “new normal” they call it
Well, I’m not in!

I don’t want it.
I want what was —
Except for the pollution and environmental degradation.
The only shred of hope I feel is for mother earth
We’ve beaten her up; now with this virus she is beating us up
bringing us to our knees
flat on our face and holding us down.

Please could we just have a little break here?
Sun and warmth would be a start.
Farmers markets

Oh, how much I’ve taken even the basics of life for granted.
Help me to never do this again.
Help me to be present in this healthy body
Be grateful:
I have enough nutritious food
A lovely roof over my head
Loving arms of my partner any time I want.
Why do I think this is not enough?
Dear God, let it be enough
At least for today and tomorrow.



Photo: Bruce Bennett

Anne Simmonds, BScN, MDiv, DMin, a United Church of Canada minister, is an adjunct faculty member at Emmanuel College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She teaches a course in death, dying, grieving; and offers spiritual direction, workshops, and retreats. Contact Anne at annelouise.simmonds@utoronto.ca.

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