Losing a loved one is never easy, but losing a loved one during this covid pandemic is not something I ever thought I'd have to go through. Much like my HIV diagnosis, I didn't think it could happen to me. When as a human race are we going to learn that we are not immune to things of this world? Anything can happen to any one of us at any given time.
You see, my uncle who was also my godfather, was one of those people that lived each day as if it were his last. Never judgmental, never spoke poorly of others, ensured his day was filled with music, good food and lots of laughter. Above all this he knew there was a world out there that needed to be seen, and he made every attempt to see it! Working for an airline certainly helped with this.
My point is, we should all live our lives the way Jose, known to family as Toño, did. He wasn’t wrapped up in all the things that were going wrong, he simply lived happily. Genuinely enjoying every moment, with his family and friends and seized opportunities regardless of any doubts or fear.
Losing a loved one is never easy. Attending funeral services and burial sites may be the hardest part of it all. However, covid has stolen the traditional way we say goodbye to those we have lost. Since his passing I have spent my days in communication with family, friends and coworkers from all over the globe asking of his health and his funeral proceedings.
Unfortunately, in true covid fashion, we were unable to give him the proper going home he deserved. His body was quickly collected from the hospital by the funeral home, taken to the burial site where in a matter of seconds his casket was lowered into the ground. Above all this, his wife and brother were the only two able to be in attendance, about a half a mile away from his casket, making it difficult to see. With social distancing still in place, both six feet apart, unable to console one another.
To add to this, family and friends were unable to have the opportunity of a proper viewing to make all the pieces add up. You see, the way covid works, some get really sick but recover. Others, like Toño, became substantially ill, showed improvement in the hospital, then was tragically gone. And due to a New Jersey mandate that all covid patients are not to be saved if they go.... well that's the end of his story.
We were left to honor his name during a zoom chat and facebook live stream, but after all this it just STILL does not seem real. I've shed so many tears, reminisced on many memories but the fact that he is physically gone from this world, during the time of covid, does not seem real. I guess the more time that passes maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Time shall tell.
Although my uncle was in his 60s, he was a fairly healthy guy with no medical issues. Please be sure to take this pandemic seriously because so may have truly been impacted that it really can happen to anyone. During these times please remember to be a little kinder to yourself and others. We are all facing a battle, some worse than others, but we are all struggling in one way or another.
I thank you for reading this and send my deepest condolences if you too have lost someone to this terrible covid virus.
Be well, stay safe, wash your hands, stay inside as hard as it may be and if you must go out use protective gear so that we can stop the spread and stop losing people we love.