On Thursday, April 14, 2022, the 2,500 pound Global Pandemic Bereavement Stone (on its specially designed and engineered carriage), was pulled on a caisson from Cape Cod Hospital to Barnstable Town Hall. Town Council President Matthew Levesque, Town Councilors Paul Hebert & Kris Clark, Barnstable County Commission Chair Sheila Lyons, Town Manager Mark Ells, and many others were on hand to welcome the stone for an opportunity to touch and gather around the stone to share their grief and prayers.
The global pandemics stone was created specifically to be moved, so as to move hearts on the long and difficult road of bereavement — where grief, sympathy, healing and compassion merge. Like war itself,. Pandemics have swept throughout the world claiming millions upon millions of innocent lives.
This pandemics touchstone uniquely puts one’s grief in a global context. To the touch, the stone’s hard, cold, coarse surface is braille for the human suffering it embodies. It speaks in the silence of our grief and serves as a prayer for health and healing during these difficult times – it offers a way of acknowledging how people have been victimized by COVID -19 (illness, death, job loss, foreclosures, bankruptcies, canceled events, etc.) and speaks to the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices made by healthcare and essential service workers throughout the world.
Sad that so many people passed away without the comfort of loved ones at their side, with no funeral or memorial to help bring closure for their families, with little understanding of how this novel virus came to have the last word in their lives.