She died alone in a negative pressure hospital room. There was no loving family by her side; no caregiver to salve her body; no minister to ease her soul’s passage. No flowers, cards, or trinkets of well-wishes; none of life’s meaningful artifacts to hold on to. The pandemic required a brief stay lest visitors, too, suffer her fate. We could not hold her hand.
Every breath was an ugly struggle. She exerted her entire body to wheeze each labored gasp and hacked a brutal cough that shook her entire being. Her lips were blue and her mouth was raw; her body was ravaged. She was not without God’s mercy, for she passed quickly, a hideous scene lasting just hours.
My mother had COVID-19 at Christmastime. We bore witness, we saw with our own eyes, there among our heroes—nurses, hospice caregivers, aides, and doctors in whose debt we’ll forever be. They did all they could.
Friends, we are far from out of the woods. We need to keep doing the right things every day—wear a mask; avoid gathering; wash your hands frequently; stay away from poorly ventilated spaces; take care of yourself and your family. These things matter.
Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe.