‘In Spite of Ourselves’
Covid taught us how dear showing up "in the flesh" is, and how family, friendship, and rituals define who we are.
By Michael Judge
I recently attended a funeral for a friend’s father and was moved by the beauty and necessity of the ritual—gathering under one roof to share stories, songs, prayers, a meal. All this seemed necessary not just for the family, but for those who know and love the family—friends, neighbors, community members (whether they’re next door or half a world away) also have a need to make the journey and come together to share their memories, their stories, their grief . . . so that mourning can happen.
All this, of course, was put on hold during Covid’s darkest months. The pandemic stole from us not just our spontaneity, as I have said in the past, but also many of the rituals and traditions that mark time and give our lives meaning—weddings, funerals, graduations, mitzvahs, baptisms, you name it.
Sports and the performing arts, too—our ancient traditions of the public celebration of humanity, with all its grace, competitiveness, …
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