I’ve seen so many inspirational and intuitive posts recently. People have been posting about being “together” in this pandemic, as much as people are isolated, there’s a sense of togetherness and community. People are doing things for one another, sharing appreciation for NHS and emergency service workers, and most people who can stay at home to minimise the spread of the virus are doing exactly that. My friends, family and I have been constantly messaging each other, partaking in online games, and video calls to keep up to date and involved with one another. I have seen people post amazing things like interactive challenges, ideas of activities to do with their children, live work outs, and live videos of zoos and aquariums.
I can’t imagine how difficult this is for the people who are truly alone. Truly alone. People who cannot be around their families for health reasons, whether they are unwell themselves or if they are emergency service workers who are exposed to the virus and cannot risk their families’ health. People who may not have family physically close by, or any family at all. People who have chosen to live alone. Everyone gets lonely, it is human nature to want to be around others to share and engage.
One of my colleagues was telling me about their friend’s situation with their Dad. Their father is currently receiving treatment in a hospice after receiving a terminal diagnosis. He is on a ward with three other patients, all of whom have caught COVID-19. It is inevitable that this man will catch it as well, and most probably die sooner that he would have. The heart breaking thing about this situation is that his children (my colleague’s friends) can’t visit their father because the hospice is practicing isolation to protect the health of the surrounding community. Their Dad is most likely going to die by himself.
I can’t even begin to fathom the heart wrenching devastation I would have felt if this had happened at the time that my Mum was dying. To know that your parent – the person who has devoted their life to you, who has held you and comforted you, given you everything they could, always ensured your safety and surrounded you in love and acceptance – is going to die by themselves without a loved one’s presence. If I couldn’t be there to hold my Mum’s hand, let her hear my voice and feel my presence and touch in the weeks leading up to her death, I don’t think I’d ever shake that thought from my mind for the rest of my life.
Writing this post was emotionally challenging, if it evokes an emotional response in you then I would encourage you to have a look at this article which signposts a way to help your community.
I sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and happy during this time.