September 21, 2021 – Washington, D.C.— Over 650,000 white flags cover more than 20 acres of the National Mall, honoring Americans who have lost their lives to Covid-19. Three Grief and Trauma Psychotherapists from the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing, Kerry Campbell, LICSW, LCSW-C, LCSW, Ivonne Miranda, Ed.M, SEP, LPC and Rachel Yutzy, MSS, LICSW, LCSW-C, have volunteered to support grieving families and individuals as they visit the exhibit to dedicate flags inscribed with messages to deceased loved ones.
“Grief can feel so isolating. Many of my clients feel so alone in their grief experience, like what they are experiencing no one understands. Each one of those flags not only represents a person who died, but also all the family members and friends who were impacted by their death. What I hope for people to get out of this installment is a sense that they are not alone. I hope that seeing all those flags, they know another mother, father, son, daughter, spouse, friend, or loved one knows their pain, and they will feel less alone,” said Campbell.
“I look forward to providing a safe space for collective grieving—for people to feel and sense that they are not alone in their grief and that they are seen. And that’s my intent—to be present and witness, and perhaps be blessed with the opportunity to provide someone with comfort,” said Miranda.
Rituals commemorating a national crisis help acknowledge the reality of the deaths which occurred, maintain connection with or cherish the memory of loved ones, and provide an opportunity to communicate openly and honestly about the tragedy.
“It is important to represent the enormous impact Covid-19 has had on this country. Seeing all those flags drives home the sheer amount of grief and loss we as a country have experienced,” said Campbell.
The Wendt Center provides community crisis response services to thousands of people a year, helping them cope in the aftermath of COVID-19 losses, violent crime, or other experiences of trauma and loss. Their crisis services reach families, school systems, non-profits, government agencies, and more.
As a person in the helping profession, the pandemic has been tough. Seeing all the pain and death, the fear and uncertainty, witnessing the in-fighting and division of families and the country around masking and vaccines, and the loss of connections and community has been hard,” Campbell said.
Wendt Center for Loss and Healing is the Greater Washington region’s premier resource for restoring hope and healthy functioning to adults, teens, and children who are coping with grief, loss, and trauma. Wendt Center Training Institute offers customized, trauma-informed workshops and certifications that equip mental health and allied professionals with skills to address grief, loss, and trauma in the communities in which they work and live.