For Whom the Bell Tolls
by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


This has always been a favorite poem of mine. I’ve always thought there is an amazing connectedness between all human beings. However, this has certainly come to an intense reality during the current times of COVID-19.

I personally have known two people my age and others younger who have died in the last few months from COVID. That certainly brought home the reality of how tenuous our lives are. These two people were relatively hale and hearty and certainly were productive members of our society.

I’m sure they never expected that their lives would be so quickly erased by such a disease. In reality, although we often assume our lives are going to continue, it’s very true that in a blink of the eye everything can change.

Hopefully, we will all have learned from this time. It has been a desolate time of loneliness and separation for many, and of devastating illness for others. Still, those of us who are surviving should certainly be more aware of the joys of everyday life and of those who will no longer experience them.

Those who are gone will be missed by many. The relationships they had, the contributions they made to the daily lives of others, and to that of their work are simply gone. This is ultimately true of all of us.

So, keeping this in mind, we each need to prayerfully consider the worth of every individual we meet on any given day. Their loss is our loss. We all are significant in the eyes of God.

Sharon Niday
Circle of Grace
Parkersburg, WV

1 Comment

  1. What wonderful words you have written, Sharon, and they remind me of the Easter season as well. Resurrection followed Christ’s death, a promise to us all.

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