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Grace with Grief

01 Jun 2020 11:18 PM | Jenni Munday (Administrator)

Collette Cullen


Bless us oh Lord…

There are some graces in this sheltering time of the quarantine. I am going to lots of online 12 step meetings. I’ve been zooming with a writers group called Watch Me Work. As a writer, I've run out of excuses they anchor me in getting pen to the page.

With no Air BnB guests, I do not have to tip toe about my own home. Some days, I dance.

The kitten, the one that the kids left behind in their exodus from the predator pandemic, the one they call Duck, who I have rechristened Dali (in honor of these surreal times,) is a blessed distraction.

I've been walking every chance I get, a pilgrim on an unchartered path.

I've had some healing time with family.

The times have made my efforts at reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace, less daunting. With his prose, he teaches survival, “Life did not stop, and one had to live.” Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

An unexpected grace is that having lived a singular life the isolation is not unfamiliar. My previous 17 medical convalescences serve as apprentice to a skill set that sustains me during the Pandemic.

But much, too much is unbearable.  Masks and media, loved ones floating in a vaporous far away land.  The individual crosses endured. Loss of home, work or a loved one. The stressors multiply. And me, seeming to live in a gilded cage of comfort yet, like in the lyrics of hotel California, I am a prisoner of my own design. The things that challenge me pre-Co-Vid are magnified. My daughter's fears become a soundtrack of a scratchy record I unable to erase from my minds turntable. On my own, by myself without anyone’s assistance, I've managed, to get in to riffs with loved ones. At the same time, I feel like I'm cleaning out other refuse of my life. Sorting out those that which does not serve me.

The worst days are when my own noise and stressors of my own little life quiets.  Overcome with sorrow and powerlessness about the big bad world, I feel as though I'm sitting in one of those elite suites at an arena. Powerless as the gladiators are slayed, dropping to the earth in droves. The lions consume them. On those I seek solace in music to free my tears. Then, I weep.  I weep like the hired wailer at a wake. Weeping for my friends who cannot see their grandchildren. Weeping for the healthcare professionals whose lives are on the line. Weeping for the collective, a sirens wail to tragedies of these time.

Collette Cullen is actor/author/educator with a vision to create opportunity for all voices to soar.

Her career as a special educator with differently abled, marginalized children, influenced her writings. These children became her muses for the essential question “How do we access and embrace all voices? “


  • 02 Jun 2020 12:37 AM | Anonymous
    Thank you for charting your feelings in these uncharted waters. I hold on tightly to my rockers armrest. Finding the rest uneasy too...
    Link  •  Reply

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