Hello There! It’s been quite a month - somehow I can’t believe January is over, but also feel like it’s been forever since the start of the month. Anyone else? To be quite honest, I’m exhausted and I think it has something to do with wanting the feeling of a new year to kick in, but realizing it’s just more of the same. I’m normally a pretty positive and motivated person so even just writing that really surprises me. Although this month has been hard, I’ve just been really grateful, for my health, for my job stability, and for some many lovely supportive friends and family.
This month my grandpa passed away from covid and it was difficult. I felt various emotions from sadness, anger, disappointment, pain, and relief. It made me think back to when my dad passed away and even some of those emotions bubbled back to the surface. It always reminds me that death is so permanent and I think as a “fixer” that can really eat away at me sometimes. We were lucky that we got the immediate family together outside (with masks) near his grave for a short ceremony with a 21 gun salute to honor my grandpa as a WWII veteran.
I didn’t think I would cry because I don’t cry often and we knew the outcome for someone his age with covid wasn’t great. As soon as they started playing the memorial song “Taps” the tears slowly started forming and rolled down my cheeks. At that moment I was so glad to be wearing a mask to hide my sadness. I was worried someone would see me crying, almost like I wasn’t allowed to be sad. I had to be strong.
It’s such a weird time to have a funeral - 6 feet apart, masks, and grave-side services only. I think what really hurt was seeing my mom sad, frightened, and shaking, but not being able to solace her with a hug. I remember that’s all I ever wanted after my dad died, a symbol of love and support. My heart is so full for everyone who has lost a son, daughter, sister, brother, mom, dad, friend, or neighbor to this terrible virus. It’s extremely painful to watch your loved one deteriorate day after day while not being able to do anything or be there with them in their final moments.
Even though you’ve heard it before, let me reiterate: Thank you healthcare workers for waking up everyday to save as many lives as you can and staying by our loved one’s side in their final moments. It’s a heavy burden you carry and we can’t thank you enough. Thank you frontline workers and essential workers for risking your lives to make sure the mail still gets delivered, groceries can still be bought, the sick can receive emergency care, and kids can get an education. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I know it will never be enough and we know it’s a heavy burden to carry, but thank you for all you have done and continue to do.
My grandpa’s passing to covid, my great uncle sickened due to covid, and my mommom’s dementia paired with sepsis has been quite a health whirlwind for my family. This past month has taught me a lot not only about gratitude for what I do have (including my health!), but also the strength to endure and keep going. As I said January has been especially difficult for me, but I’m a fighter and I know you all are as well. So be kind to yourself, but realize you’re stronger than you think. We’ll get through this together.
Grandpa, this post is dedicated to you. Thanks for teaching me how to blend while painting, appreciating nature, and most importantly smiling through whatever is thrown at you. Here’s to riding your bike and eating all the chocolates in heaven. May you rest in peace.