A Burial Post Pandemic

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A Burial Post Pandemic

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I did not travel during the entirety of the strict lockdown period of the COVID-19 Pandemic. My wife and I worked in retail and were deemed essential so we worked through it from April 2020 until the restrictions were broadly lifted. In March 2021 my mother died of an unrelated illness, the first trip I took after the travel restrictions were lifted was to bury her in Carlsbad, New Mexico. We did not hold a funeral service and we did not hold a memorial, she was cremated and buried quietly. I remember this very vividly because even at that time it felt wrong to travel and to be interacting with people in a way that wasn't required by work. We wore masks the entire time. Due to our proximity to El Paso, TX I remember vividly when they were storing bodies in buses in the streets there and this made us fearful and cautious. Even had we not been still in the throes of the pandemic, I don't think I would have done anything differently but I do believe that the added stress of travel would not have been present thus making the trip more manageable. Due to our need to isolate, and resist getting sick, what I remember most of all is the loneliness of the matter, and the quiet car rides, and wondering 'How might things have been different?'

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This item was submitted on March 14, 2024 by Jared Van Natta using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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