Dr. John Lynch, Hillside Medical Director, sent the open letter below to all Hillside staff in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
To My Hillside family –
For many of us, the Memorial Day weekend is a chance to be with family and friends, enjoying time together and making new, happy memories. And, of course, we pause to honor the sacrifice of the women and men who have given their lives in the service of our country. But it feels different this year. It is different this year.
There has been so much pain and suffering recently, daily it seems — around the world and across the nation, of course, but also very, very close to home. Some have close ties — even friends and family members — to those hurt or killed in horrific tragedies, like the ones in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX. There have been other tragedies, of course, but these terrible events feel especially hateful, evil … unbelievable. Even when we know mental illness may have been involved, it doesn’t hurt any less.
This normally happy weekend, then, is likely to bring some painful, sorrowful, angry and somber moments. You may need opportunities to grieve. Whether you do so in a public, communal way or privately, please know that you are not alone. I hope that we can honor those we’ve lost by remembering them with the dignity and respect they were denied. I hope, too, that we can honor each other by cultivating that same dignity and respect in our hearts, minds and actions.
You remain in my thoughts and prayers.
John H. Lynch, M.D., Ph.D.