By Dana Farley, Wellness Center
Many of us have experienced the loss of a loved one. Surveys in 1997 and 1998 of UST students revealed that 26 percent and 23 percent of the students experienced death of someone very close to them in the past year. It is important to find ways to remember and honor the dead as part of the grief process.
During November, there are specific days that people set aside time to remember and honor the dead: All Saints Day, All Souls Day and Veterans Day.
The Wellness Center is hosting a two-day display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt because it is one of the most positive examples of expressing grief for death of a loved one. Forty individual panels from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, and Tuesday, Nov. 2, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.
Many people will view the quilt as a symbol of peace; it was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Many will see the quilt as the largest example of a community art project; more than 42,000 panels make up the memorial. Some will see the quilt as a reminder of the enormity of the AIDS epidemic; more than 30 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide according to the World Health Organization. Many people will see the quilt as a call for compassion; as Thomas Merton said, "The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another and all involved in one another."
Whatever your reason, see the quilt.