| 11.3°C Dublin

Close

Premium


A permanent old-fashioned Lent - but hope survives

Dermot Bolger


Close

Locked down and locked out: A woman prays outside the closed St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral in Melbourne. Photo: Getty Images

Locked down and locked out: A woman prays outside the closed St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral in Melbourne. Photo: Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

Locked down and locked out: A woman prays outside the closed St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral in Melbourne. Photo: Getty Images

Although we have endured fraught times before, this feels different from any other Easter, partly due to our sense of powerlessness.

Previously we could publicly show our support for people in grief. If we knew them, we queued to shake hands and proffer inadequate words of comfort. With victims we didn't know, we could still express solidarity by gathering in public.

Following Diana Spencer's deat,h I watched thousands place flowers in her memory in Kensington Gardens. In their collective grief, Londoners become demonstratively tactile: anonymous hands resting on shoulders if a stranger was crying; spontaneous hugs as people found solace in being in a crowd.