708 We need to talk about grief, we need to talk about trauma - together
Day 708 Tuesday, February 22, 2022
We need to talk about grief, we need to talk about trauma. And we need to talk about it together. Collectively and honestly.
Reflection by Olesya Khromeychuk on the death of her brother in Donbas, Ukraine
My brother decided to volunteer for the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2015 and go to fight on the front line in the war in Donbas. It was his decision. And so after some time thinking whether he should join up or not, he decided to volunteer and went to the front in 2015. He served for nearly two years in Donbas, and was killed at the front line in 2017, near the town of Popasna in Luhansk Oblast.
We remember him as a soldier now, but I also remember him as an artist, as a traveler, as an eccentric – a really interesting and complicated brother to have as well. And someone who left a huge gap in my life.
We have so many euphemisms (‘enemy forces’, for example) that make it easier for us not to confront the reality of war. Wars are fought by humans. Wars affect humans. Wars are not about numbers, they are not about abstract forces, and they have very long lasting effects. We need to be honest about them. We need to talk about grief, we need to talk about trauma. And we need to talk about it together. Collectively and honestly.
Reflection by Olesya Khromeychuk, a historian of east-central Europe and a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London.
PRAYER IN HONOR OF PAX CHRISTI USA’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
INSPIRED BY THE 2022 WORLD DAY OF PEACE MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS