Sunday, April 11, 2021

Heartfelt gratitude for hospice

| March 21, 2021 12:00 AM

A recent donation I made to Hospice of Cincinnati for the upcoming first anniversary of my mother’s death gave me pause to reflect on all that has been lost in this pandemic time.

Although my family is fortunate, and forever grateful, for the fact our mother did not die of the coronavirus last April and was able to depart this life in her own home under her family’s care, I am brokenhearted by this cruel virus that has so mercilessly stolen nearly 540,000 (and still counting) of our loved ones, friends and neighbors — the deadliest year in American history.

While all of us, no less those who have been spared from losing someone from covid, are praying we are soon freed from the pandemic’s death grip, the truth remains there are nearly 540,000 families who will never be the same. A light has been forever extinguished.

Yes, 2020 was a horrific year and death’s bell was tolled around the world. Thanks to ramped up vaccine efforts, we’re finally starting to see the light of a new day, however, we can no more forget the past year than we can forget any atrocity. Nor should we.

Our residual losses are also great — jobs, learning, community — and time. Precious time. A year wrested from our grasp, especially for those in assisted living and nursing homes who have had to endure being isolated from their families.

And yet time, together with faith and determination, are the universal healers. I do believe we can heal as a country, just as we heal individually from injury, both physical and emotional — with faith, determination and time.

We have to trust in ourselves, our higher power, and in each other to shoulder together this burden. If we don’t reach out to one another, we’ll only perpetuate the separation we’ve experienced this past year.

Hope is coming out from the shadows and we will once again breathe clean air, both in body and soul. We just need to remember to keep going and keep helping each other stay strong.

I miss my mother, and my oldest brother who died just months before her. But I’m glad I’m able to hold onto and be comforted by my memories of them.

For all who are hurting or grieving from loss for whatever reason, remember, we are all part of one humankind and we all share this same fragile, precious existence.

Thanks to the staff of hospice organizations everywhere for your compassionate, dedicated care of our loved ones. May you find peace in your hearts for the good work you do that so needs to be done.

Community Editor Carol Marino can be reached at