2020 has been a hard year for everyone. The world is collectively grieving, hurting, and attempting to heal.
My family has not been exempt from this grief. This summer, my uncle passed away after a battle with numerous health conditions. Two months later, his wife and my aunt, my mother’s sister, passed after losing a tough fight with pancreatic cancer. That was august.
The weekend before Christmas, another of my mother’s siblings passed away due to Covid. He fought it hard for three weeks, but it overcame him. His COPD and other health issues were no match for the virus that ravaged his lungs.
There are no words for the grief that encompasses a family who has lost three members in six months.
There are no words for the siblings who sat for hours watching their brother struggle to breathe and slowly die.
There are no words for the family that has to have a closed casket funeral that allows only ten people in at a time.
There are no words for a graveside service in Michigan in December, huddled into family groups and attempting to keep from hugging each other because of the danger of the spread of Covid.
There are no words.
This year has beaten us down in so many ways. We are reeling from the pain and the shock of the last nine months. I am heartbroken that I will not be at my uncle’s funeral and be there to comfort my mom as she says goodbye.
I am wracked with grief over the people that my friends and loved ones have also lost this year, and that most of them were forced to attend funerals or memorials held over Zoom.
But you know what? Still, there are people saying that they would rather risk Covid than wear a mask to work or church or the grocery store. There are people who would rather risk the lives of the immunocompromised (like many people in my family) than have the decency to wear a piece of fabric over their nose and mouth when outside the home.
This year has been hard enough from a health perspective. Just wear a damn mask and give some of us a break from the pain.