Losing a Loved One During COVID-19


Arnecia Paul

Losing a Loved One During COVID-19

Arnecia Paul, Senior Editor

The spread of  COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of daily life. From social distancing, to self isolating yourself for weeks just to protect you and your family, the Coronavirus is undoubtedly changing the way we live because it’s creating surreal challenges that we never thought we would have to face. 

Unfortunately, for many people, not only is the virus changing their daily lives, but it’s also altering the way they have to unexpectedly say goodbye to loved ones, altering the way they grieve their deaths. 

The virus is killing hundreds of people worldwide. In the United States alone, the virus has claimed over 47,750 people’s lives so far. 2,813 of those lives claimed by the virus were here in Michigan.

Due to the strict regulations made by the government for the isolation needed to contain and control COVID-19, many of those not only had to fight their battles alone confined in isolation, but they also had to spend their final moments without family.

Families were forced to say goodbye to their loved ones by phone or through video conference due to the stay at home order and the strict regulations made by the hospital which allows no visitors at all. This has left families sorrowful and helpless because of the disappointing way they had to say their farewells to their loved ones during their final moments. There is overwhelming grief that comes along with this unprecedented process. 

In many cases death came quickly, which left families feeling lost, confused, fearful, overwhelmed, full of anxiety, and even guilt. Though with any death, coping with the loss of a loved one can be a very hard and an overwhelming process, but COVID-19 makes the process even more complicated because of the stay at home order and practicing of social distancing. This makes it difficult for families because they can’t come together to be with one another for comfort during the time they need each other the most. Families can’t even get closure which are offered by ceremonies like funerals or memorial services. People have resorted to holding very private ceremonies with less than 10 people or even holding virtual ceremonies that are live streamed so families can join online. Unfortunately, neither of those options provide families the closure generally felt when putting a loved one to rest.

Unfortunately, I, myself, know the terrible heartache that many other families may be going through when losing a loved one to COVID-19.

On April 9th, I lost my uncle to COVID-19 and pneumonia. Before his untimely death, just like many other families that may have a loved one in the hospital fighting their battle alone in isolation, we relayed on doctors and nurses for continuous updates and we were only able to see him on facetime. 

The morning of April 9th around 10am the doctor called and said that he wasn’t looking too good, but he and his team were getting ready to try a life-saving procedure. Sadly, two hours later my family received the worst phone call ever that he had passed away.

When my uncle passed away, the first thing I felt was shocked because I felt like things weren’t supposed to turn out the way they did. The mindset that I kept while he was in the hospital was that he was going to get better, and that he would eventually come home. After I felt shocked, sadness quickly crept into me because this was completely unexpected and it felt like someone had just ripped my heart right out my body.

Since this pandemic started it just felt like I’ve been riding a train with no brakes that destroys everything in its path, and I’m unable to stop it. It feels like it has been going downhill because these last three months of the school year were supposed to be the highlight of my year since I’m a senior and were supposed to represent one the greatest milestones of my life. I was supposed to be happy and celebrate my upcoming achievements with my family and friends, but instead, I was robbed of my happiness and joy. I was robbed of my last few months of the school year that I was supposed to spend with my friends that I will never get back. I was robbed of graduation and prom being in May just like every other senior in the past has had it. Most of all, I was robbed of one of the most important and influential people that I looked up to in life. 

When I went off to prom and when I finally walked across that stage, he was supposed to be there through every step of the way with a big smile spread across his face, but now he won’t. All I have now is pictures and memories from over the years. Not only do I feel sadness for myself, but I feel sad for his mom who is like a grandmother to me, my aunt, cousins, mom, brother, and anybody else that he may have touched throughout his life because he was such a great and loving person.  

I know that my family and I aren’t the only ones going through a tragic loss of a loved one and I feel for them as well. This is why such regulations and orders were put into place to keep you and your family safe. It may seem like this will never end, but we will eventually overcome this and come back even stronger. You will be able to be back with the rest of your family and friends and you will also be able to go back to your favorite places once all this is over. Once you lose a loved one, you’ll never get them back, so please stay safe and cherish your family while they’re still here.