Should I say sorry that this is a bit of a morbid topic? I feel somehow compelled, albeit wrongly, that I should justify why I want to write about this, but for the sake of an imagined political correctness that I should be upholding, maybe I should just go on and make the justification before continuing – death is one of the most inevitable things we all encounter and go through, so I believe it’s okay to go ahead and talk about it. So I will go on.
I just got wind of another death close to my family – my second during the quarantine. To say that facing a death is hard can be so cliché it’s almost comic. But to say that covid has made it even harder and even worse – I don’t know. I’m at a loss. It just leaves me with feelings of helplessness.
I feel like it’s hard enough to experience having a loved one pass – but to not perform the normal rituals for it, to sometimes not even be allowed to be physically present in the hospital or in the wake – just leaves me feeling adrift. The first time I experienced it this quarantine, we held an e-wake and had the most important people be in the call and participate in our simple program. We all eulogized, prayed, did the novena, and that was the time I actually felt the physical pull of the grief and let all the tears flow the way they should have. In a way, it was a relief – but it also sealed the knowing that that person has forever gone from this plane that my physical body is in – and made us all feel the grief a little bit more conclusively. I’m sad I didn’t even get to see her body. I was shocked at the thought that the last time I saw her was the last I’ll ever get to. How do loved ones feel when they aren’t given the opportunity to say goodbye?
This pandemic has made that a fact. It’s heartbreaking, it’s infuriating, and at the same time there’s nothing we can do. This time around, we got the news of the sudden, unexpected passing of the spouse of another family member who lives in the province, across the sea, and of course, she wants to go home to him. But how will the process be? Have they become reliable with domestic travel now – and will actually let all sold tickets fly the way they promised? Or will they just cancel on passengers even as they are already waiting at the gates – and leave them fending for themselves until the announcement of another plane to take them to their destination comes? And until then, everyone is just supposed to wait?
And then, upon arriving in the province, do the 14 days of quarantine still apply? How will she reach her husband’s body in time, if two weeks have to pass before she is able to?
Even her own exposure has to be thought about, because she’s not as young anymore. How do we deal with protecting her, too?
I thought having to face death was enough of a despair. The corona virus has made it even a notch higher in terms of experiencing feelings of helplessness and confusion. We would like to lend credence to the fact that that IS her husband, and this IS her life. She should decide on what’s best. I wonder how we can arrive at the most judicious conclusion on the best plan of action now.