In The Media
It goes without saying that the majority of people around the world were ready to say goodbye to 2020 last week. In embracing 2021, many took to social media, posting images and quotes about their excitement for this new year and their joy in leaving behind what has been coined a ‘dumpster fire’ of a year.
That said, waking on January 1st, 2021 did not mean that the coronavirus is now a forgotten friend. With numbers on the rise throughout the United States and new strains of the virus popping up all across the globe, many are still concerned and facing the impact of the virus on their families, businesses, and communities.
At the time, it is safe to say that every American can agree that there has been profound loss, anxiety, stress, and fear over the past twelve months. Yet while we may acknowledge this, are we really creating space for ourselves to mourn this reality as we begin a new calendar year? Or, are we rushing back into New Year’s resolutions, extreme and unhealthy productivity, and a dominant culture that has us pushing forward for fear of ‘feeling’ if we look wisely back?
For Trebbe Johnson, Founder of the organization, Radical Joy for Hard Times, it is critical that we make space this month to recognize that we are all still living in a profoundly changed environment. “The coronavirus, having killed more than 1.5 million people, and just about everyone losing something—a beloved family member, a job, a home, a high school graduation, a dream; it’s so intense for us all to manage in our hearts and minds each day.” To pause, acknowledge these changes and their consequences, Johnson’s organization will hold a special online event, The Global Day of Mourning, on January 10, 2021 to ensure we do not rush forward without reflecting together.
January 10th, chosen by Johnson for this unique gathering, will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the first officially recorded death from the disease, of a man in Wuhan, China, on January 11, 2020. “In our culture, grief is a thing to be avoided, to be muscled through,” says Francis Weller, author and facilitator of workshops on the process of confronting and healing from grief, and one of the guests at an online panel on the day of the event. But when we are willing to confront our grief and admit the ways it has broken us down, we become, not more broken and depressed, as many people fear, but feeling more in touch with reality and emboldened to face life in a new way.”
Along with Weller, the panel discussion, which begins at noon EST, features Dr. Marty K. Casey, the dynamic organizer of UnGUN Institute, helping African American families recover from the trauma of gun violence. Other events planned for the day include suggestions for how people can observe the day of mourning with friends and family; “sharing circles,” in which small groups can voice their stories about life under COVID; a traditional Iroquois Encouragement Ceremony led by Oneida elder Artley Skenandore; and a DJ’d dance on Zoom, during which people around the world will be able to dance together from grief to joy.
As a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people confront the loss of loved places due to human or natural acts and rekindle a relationship with those places by making spontaneous offerings of “guerrilla beauty” there, Radical Joy for Hard Times hopes that this day will serve as a catalyst for the type of connections we will all need in this moment. Johnson shares that, “this day is for everyone, everywhere, who has been impacted by Covid-19. It has been so hard for all of us to cope with this time and the conditions are always changing. We ask, can we work? Can we shop? Can we go to school? There is so much complexity and a lot of people are just trying to survive- still. As a community, we have not yet taken the time to see and feel the gravity of the past few months and how we have been affected. We are all mourning something and this is the time to get in touch with our own grief and share it with other people.” Johnson went on to share.
It is the vision of Johnson and the current community surrounding Radical Joy for Hard Times, that we can find pathways to creativity, compassion, and courage over the next few months. If you feel called to be in community as we begin a new year, to express your grief and to gain key insights for life and work, join the gathering on January 10th, 2021 and stay in touch by signing up for Johnson’s weekly blog.
WHO: Alyssa Wright
TITLE: Radical Joy For Hard Times Launches A Global Day Of Mourning For Victims Of Coronavirus
DATE: January 4, 2021
LINK: Visit Media URL
MEDIA TYPE: Article
TAG: Forbes, Global Day of Mourning, Trebbe Johnson