The novel coronavirus has claimed more than half a million lives in this country alone since February 2020.
The virus does not discriminate, crossing gender, generational, ethnicity, and socioeconomic groups.
However, it became known soon after the virus was declared a pandemic that senior citizens, people with certain chronic medical conditions, and African-American were high risk for contracting and succumbing to the virus.
My husband and my mother fell into all three groups, and when that information was made public, my first thought was, “I’m glad they’re gone.”
Horrible, right? I thought so too, but I tried to justify it in my mind.
Den was 64 and had End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) which required hemodialysis three times a week. He’d developed a wheeze because of fluid around his heart, and the origins were still unknown.
Mom was 84 and had scleroderma, pulmonary hypertension, a pacemaker, and a defibrillator. Her doctor said her lungs had the thickness of tissue paper.
Despite their health issues, they were both still quite active.
But, with their compromised immune systems, they wouldn’t have had a chance against covid19.
I’ve lost three family members to the virus, and had four survive it. Their stories of struggling to breathe even though each breath brought intense pain are traumatizing.
Along with the pain, their isolation filled them with fear and anxiety, not knowing if they would live or ever see their families again.
Thinking of Den and Mom going through this breaks my heart all over again.
I miss them both every day, and would give anything to have them back… but only in a covid-free world.
And that is my guilt. I’m glad they’re gone, because living would have brought them only suffering.
On May 30, 2019, I lost Dennis, my husband of over thirty-five years. Ten short weeks later on August 18, 2019, I lost my eighty-four-year-old mother. My grief journey has not been an easy one. While we know grief has five stages, there are many situations and feelings some bereaved never get to express, and I’m using my first AtoZ Challenge to say things I’ve never been able to give voice to. I hope you’ll follow my journey.