The Rev. Mel Kawakami, MDiv '74, ThM '85, is a retired pastor and pastoral counselor for the United Methodist Church. He spent his career helping communities devastated by unexpected loss, including his tenure as pastor of the Newtown United Methodist Church in the heart of Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Some of us might feel guilty about grieving, especially if we haven’t actually lost someone to COVID-19. But as we are all grieving the lost rhythms of our daily lives as well as our feelings of familiarity and safety, gratitude can help us build resiliency and look to the future.
"But when you are grieving, you need to allow space for that to happen. Parents are so busy right now. Even the notion that they would have a few minutes to feel something feels radical to me, as someone who is trained in the reflective art of noticing feelings,” said Laura Tuach, associate director of field education and Instructor in Ministry Studies.
“People were meeting what they identified as spiritual needs, but doing them in organizations that had no apparent spiritual connection,” said HDS Associate Dean for Ministry Studies Dudley Rose. “Like SoulCycle. People would cite SoulCycle.”
"I think it's because they want that professional degree, and they want the respect that should come with that," said Patricia Simpson, counselor to Roman Catholic Students and Instructor in Ministry Studies at HDS. "I think they want to be able to state that they've prepared academically to the same level as ... the men being ordained."
"We have been on pilgrimage together in this extraordinary wilderness of pandemic and uprising, and like all pilgrimages, we have been led to places we may not have known we needed to go," says Kerry Maloney, HDS chaplain and director of religious and spiritual life.
"COVID-19 brutalizes bodies, but it also disempowers families who are unable to see their loved ones, sit at their bedsides and hold their hands," writes Bridget Power, MDiv '19, a chaplain resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.