An advertisement for a trip to Yellowstone National Park

We lose a lot of stuff around the house.

There is a basket full of cars, but we can’t find the one car we really, really need before we can do anything else.

Our 16-month-old has figured out how to open the toy drawer and the trash can, so we lose pacifiers left and right.

Although there seems to be an abundance of them, only one will offer the comfort she needs to drift off to sleep.

As we move throughout the day, I find myself saying when we confront one of these missing items, “It will show up. Things always show up.” This has provided time and space to let us look for things now or later without frustration and tears.

Losing items around the house or forgetting where you put something down is not uncommon, especially amid consistent change.

My congregation jokes with me because during high, holy seasons at church, I always lose my keys. They have learned to laugh and help me look.

My mind and my heart are in a different place during these seasons and so the everyday remembering is put on the back burner.

When things we have been looking for do show up, we all get excited. We share the funny place we found the item, and we share in the show of recovering the sought-after item.

Collectively, we have lost something that will never show up eventually. We have lost over 100,000 people in the United States and more than 350,000 worldwide.

Human souls connected and invested in families and communities. We can’t forget. We remember every day when we wake up and as we try to get a little bit of sleep at night.

As we reached this devastating milestone, we hold onto being the country that has the most deaths and most cases of COVID-19. In 17 states around the country, those numbers are not decreasing; they are increasing.

Loss surrounds us. Grief engulfs us.

And as we grieve for many of us, we are still alone at home trying to do our part to help those numbers stop increasing so drastically.

Loss has always been a part of inhabiting these dusty bodies, but that doesn’t mean that loss doesn’t bring us back to remembering we have but one life to live. One chance to care for others. One chance to offer hope. One chance to offer love.

I know many states are opening up. I know many states are without mask laws. I know other people and other families are traveling and getting together.

I know it can all be confusing and overwhelming because so much information is out there. I know you are tired and weary and just want a change of pace.

I also know bearing this amount of loss is sometimes just too much to carry.

The loss and grief won’t go away. These will be the things that change us.

My hope is it changes us not to be people who hold onto to our lives and our desires so desperately that more loss comes.

My hope is that by remembering this loss, again and again, every day, 100,000 minutes every day, we will transform into more caring and compassionate people.

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared on Harrelson’s blog. It is used with permission.

Share This