• David Carlson

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


God of Peace and Justice,

Make us weavers of your peace that will only come through justice,

taking up the threads of peacemakers who have gone before,

adding our collective contributions with creativity,

and making space for future generations to join this tapestry.


Keep us firmly rooted in your love,

love that transcends time and space.


Guide us with clarity of vision

to study the past in order to learn from history

and heal wounds that still hurt us.


Let us acknowledge your presence as we look to the future.

Nourish our enthusiasm,

Help our dreams emerge,

and enable hope to blossom.


Together, we will learn from one another,

amplify prophetic voices,

and weave the work of peace, justice,

mercy, and love that transforms.


We ask all of this through our brother Jesus,

Way of Nonviolence,

Weaver of Peace.



Amen.



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