Loss in a COVID World

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Loss in a COVID World

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I believe this is a point of interest to talk about, since it’s likely that many will wonder, out of innocent curiosity, what it’s like to lose someone in a time of crisis. I should describe it as transcendental. May your soul be touched.
My beloved mother didn’t die from COVID-19. She had been unknowingly battling cancer for several years, and had it diagnosed at its most lethal stage. I still shake my hands at the doctors who had ignored her concerns for all this time, because maybe she would still have been here if it weren’t for them. But how would that affect me? Would things remain the same at home? I have to say, I shudder at this thought, too.
Colon cancer, which metastasized in the liver. She passed from liver failure in the later part of this year, 2020. I, the foolish child, was so preoccupied that I couldn’t understand why my uncle woke me at 4 am in the morning that day. With a classic sleepy rub of the eye, I told him, “I have a math test today.” And if it hadn’t been for the pain in his eyes, I wouldn’t have gotten up at all. There she was, lying eerily still in her bed, but she was also gone. As the people around me sobbed and turned away, all I could do was stand and stare. It felt like something was out of place. I felt out of place. If you could try to imagine it, remain perfectly still as you are and think of yourself exiting your body. Look around you without looking. That’s how it felt, everything slightly blurry by the darkness, lightness in my feet as if I were floating, a static, metal taste in my mouth, the sounds of sobbing flooding my ears, I couldn't handle it. I started to cry, and buried myself in the crook of my brother’s chest for support. To be in the unknown, and lose what you have, is the most frightening experience I wish for nobody else to have gone through. The pain is truly insufferable… but the healing process counts for so much of who I define myself as now, that I couldn’t imagine the year going any other way.
The funeral was held the following sunday. It too was such a different experience. We took many long, empty roads to reach the cemetery. Seeing few cars on the road is commonplace for such a road, but to see none at all was creepy. I relinquished my thoughts to sleep.
Upon our arrival, I put my mask on and stood before 50 some odd people who had come to see my mother off. That’s right, I thought comfortably, Mom was very well loved. The notion was reassuring. We exchanged hugs and hellos and sorrys, all the usual pleasantries you would expect at an event not so pleasant, and made our way to the casket for the gathering to take place. I’ll leave the eulogy I wrote here, in case you were curious and thought, I wonder what this stranger said at their mother’s funeral, because this is expected when you are here to read about losing a loved one. Finally, when all was said and done, condolences were given again. This time, though, I hardly recognized anyone. It must’ve been the masks that obstructed our faces, because I saw the attendees, and they saw me, but it was still so unfamiliar. The later part of that day I spent confused. I suppose that’s how we start when we learn to adjust, which I did. Presently I am still healing, but it’s not so bittersweet when I think of her, moreso sweet than bitter. The metal taste in my mouth begins to wear off, and I am feeling free. I hope she also feels free. And I hope this provided the insight you were looking for when you came across this page. We all love and lose in the end. Focus your energy towards healing, and you will learn to grow with the changes.

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This is the eulogy I wrote for my mother’s funeral.

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This item was submitted on October 27, 2020 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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