• Voices of Quarantine

Mourning In Isolation

If it was just a pandemic, things would be different.

My mother passed away on February 15th. For the next few weeks, I took a trip to visit family at their snowbird retreat, made phone calls, and helped organize a memorial service. The celebration of her life was scheduled for March 18th. It should have all gone off without a hitch.

Then, the world happened. Again.

On March 12th, we decided to postpone the memorial. It was one of the toughest and most bizarre decisions of my life. No one should ever have to make that choice.

8 days later, we were ordered to shelter in place. What’s slightly ironic is from the time we postponed the memorial, I had pretty much been in a personal shelter in place. I tried calling people when I felt up to it, sorted through old pictures, cleaned closets and pantries, watched too much TV, and cried. I was forced to stay home and mostly grieve alone. There would be no closure and that shook me.

There have been fair days and not so fair days. I can’t walk to visit someone and get a much needed hug. I can’t put my head on a shoulder and cry. I feel like a plant starving for sunlight. I’m still crying at least once a day. I walk when I feel like it (I’ve found I really enjoy walking down the middle of the streets against the almost non-existing traffic). Shopping is a stress-filled nightmare.

Life seems absolutely surreal. The fact that I even get out of bed is a huge step most days.

I would not wish the double burden of grief and a pandemic on my worst enemy. If it was just the latter, things would be different. But now, it’s day by day and I can’t stress that enough. I allow myself to feel how I feel, good or bad. I avoid people and social media if I need to. If I get something done in a day, that’s great. If not, that’s great too. That’s all I can do right now.