Stories: Who We Have Lost

Attended Book Launch and Reading

Who did you lose to Covid 19? Launch and Reading

On Saturday, May 20th, I attended the NY book launch and reading of
“Who We Lost,” in Astoria, Queens. I was there, along with Sherry Deren,
in support of our writing workshop colleague Ed Koenig, who read his
included piece, in memory of his husband Jody. I never met Jody in life,
but I have read of Jody many times, in some of the pages that Ed regularly
submits to our writing group.

At the reading, in a cozy setting that was both supportive and protective,
each writer (or reader) was introduced with a short bio and encouragingly
summoned to the stage, I felt myself absorbed in their voices, as they spoke
lovingly of a spouse, parent, sibling, or friend, who was taken too soon,
in a manner that was in many cases cold and didn’t allow for the normal
processes of funerals or stages of grieving. As I had read “Who We Lost,”
in its entirety, prior to Saturday, I felt an empathic connection with each of
the readers as they recited their stories. I felt honored to be in their presence and
to bear witness to the truth that each person who was lost was not simply a
statistic, but was a living, breathing human being, of great importance within the
webs of their families and communities.

I congratulate Martha Greenwald for shepherding the Who We Lost project and
for making this book launch a reality. My hope is that this event is only the start of
keeping the remembrance of these terrible losses, front and center in the
American consciousness, as our country seeks to move on from the Covid
narrative. As all the book’s contributors and many others have stated, Covid isn’t
over for everyone.

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