A lot of people are wondering if we will ever experience the world the way we did before COVID-19 disrupted it. If I am being honest, I wondered that too for a little while, but I haven’t in a long time. How do we go back to the way something was after something so significant has happened? I don’t think we do. I think we remember what we had then, we acknowledge what we have now, and we create something new as we look ahead and plan to move forward. This is what COPE has been doing since March 2020.
Our mission to help parents, siblings, and families living with the loss of a child, and the importance of doing so never changed; if anything, we saw the importance of that mission through a new lens. What changed was how COPE carried out its mission to provide the help and support needed. People were struggling, in perhaps more complicated ways, because of the impact COVID had on them- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. COPE adjusted and remained a constant in people’s lives in a time of chaos. COPE’s support groups continued, grief and healing programs continued and evolved, and we expanded our connections to reach people and communities in new ways. All of that allowed us to continue to thrive as an organization.
Although we are reminded daily that COVID is still here, it feels as if many of us are truly beginning to reacclimate into the world… even if this world is different than the one we once knew. I’ve always believed that different does not mean better or worse, it simply means it’s not the same. As we move forward in 2022, COPE is doing things differently, too. Sandy Wolkoff, COPE’s past President, has completed her three year tenure after fiercely and compassionately leading the organization through the most uncertain of times. While we are all so grateful for, and appreciative of, everything Sandy has done for COPE, her shoes needed to be filled and those shoes were mighty. Instead of trying to replicate someone who we didn’t feel could be replicated, COPE looked in a different direction. In the spirit of a new and different world, we are excited and proud to lead COPE together, through our Co-Presidency, and we are honored and grateful for the confidence shown, support provided, and the true partnership we share with the entire Board of Directors.
To everyone in the COPE Community, thank you for supporting COPE as an organization, but more importantly, thank you for the never-ending support and compassion you show each other. Each and every one of you are the reason parents, siblings, and families will never have to experience their journey alone.