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We Grieve Yet We Gain

What are your hopes for life after the pandemic? For this week’s Sunday Story, we’re sharing an excerpt from a collaborative poem entitled “We Grieve Yet We Gain” by Cass Junior High School’s seventh grade advanced ELA class.

“We grieve the ability to make memories of warm friendships and blooming spring flowers. We lose the chance to go outside and hear the chirping birds or to dance in the gentle rain. Dances, vacations, sports, and field trips are withheld and canceled for safety’s sake. This leaves only repetitive hobbies and tasks that feel like a broken record, replaying the same song over and over.

Yet, we gain a story that will be with us for the rest of our lives. The seemingly unimportant events that led to a disaster few believed would come. The memory of a tragedy that we, collectively, worked so hard to survive. We are now a part of history. We now have memories to recite as our grandchildren listen closely, appreciating their own freedoms. This disease will not be forgotten. While it may be grim, it will one day be a thing of the past, and the past will be remembered and embraced for the growth and the strength we exhibited during such a difficult time.” —Students of Cass Junior High’s seventh grade advanced ELA Class, Darien, Illinois

Read the full poem.

Chicago, we want you to share your stories! Our community-based initiative, In This Together, seeks to collect digital records that capture personal experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you live in Chicago or its surrounding metropolitan area, we invite you to share your story or that of your community through content such as photographs, audio/visual recordings, and interviews. Submit your story.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories