Dealing with grief during Covid-19 has been a difficult, and unexpected journey. Grief, Fate, Love and Family have guided me to a new beginning in my life, and I needed to write to unpack it all.
New Year New Me | Hello 2020
I was ready for a new start this year. Big goals, big opportunities and big changes were being mapped out. My family and I were ready to take our lives another step ahead in our growth and progression together. Yet, like a child setting up dominoes with a little brother around, my perfect set up meant nothing. Fate, my figurative little brother in this sense, came running and crashed my dominoes before I could watch the orderly beauty of them unfold. We were thrown unceremoniously back into a volatile rental market, like dominoes flying from a toddler sized kick.
Deteriorating house mate relationships, and untouchable variables piled up and created a vulnerable situation in our living arrangement. Things fell apart, and we wound up having to move our family of 5 in 4 days. In the middle of a housing crisis, and on the heels of Christmas debt. I was at a loss and turned to the only direction that could feasibly work in short notice. Mommy and Daddy.
Comin' Back Home
I will forever and always be grateful for the love and support from my parents. When my mother knew what was happening, she opened her door no questions asked. Just a “Stay here, we’ll make it work.” I’ve never been more tired in my life, but I managed to move everything we owned in those 4 days into my parent’s house and things began to work so smoothly right away.
We benefited greatly from the extra help with the kids. Being able to set a new focus on potty training on our middle child, our oldest taking a new love for cooking and a better focus on school work, and our youngest transitioning to more foods and learning to crawl. We were busy and needed the help.
My mother benefited from the extra help with my father. In the midst of fighting the exhausting battle against Alzheimer’s, it was nice to have a little more company, as well as extra help moving him to and from his different seating locations. After spending so long feeling guilty about not being around enough, it was a great feeling to have him see the kids every day.
Staying Home, Where I Needed To Be
Shortly after the move, the Coronavirus situation caught up to us. We had been following it as it grew rapidly and became an every day talking point through our morning News and Coffee routine. At this point, things were becoming very real about it. The decision was made by my employer to start rolling out Work From Home setups, and I began the transition into that role.
A few days before I got to work from home, my father went to sleep. He stayed asleep for a few days. He was alive, and could hear us for once and a while, but he didn’t get up again after he laid down. It was our last goodbye, as we comforted him towards a peaceful passing. Surrounded by love and family. My hero, my father, passed away through the night after a couple days of some well deserved good sleep after a hard days work.
I don’t know why everything worked out this way. To suddenly be thrust into my parent’s home, then ordered to work from home, allowing me to be fully present, capable and stable in the face of grief. I got to say goodbye to my Father without the nagging regret of not seeing him enough. My kids got to experience the magical love that radiated from his eyes, and the ridiculous sense of humor that burst through his silly faces, and quick comebacks.
Fate and Grief - The Dynamic Duo
I don’t know all of my beliefs about fate. I don’t know how my brain processes grief. Yet they are always intertwined. They twist, pull and shift in a constant battle, evening out the battlefield I cross. I find myself at a brand new starting point. A new beginning, with the same family. A family made stronger, as we have all adopted pieces of my Father’s soul.
We now continue our march head first into the unknown with Covid-19. Things are uneasy, uncertain and unsettling. We cannot see family and friends, or even hold a funeral for my Father until this pandemic is over.
The future is going to be very different every single day, for all of us. My father was a shining example of always extending kindness and caring, and we can all use that right now. Whatever we face in the days ahead, I’ll do it with a humble heart, a kind smile, and hard work. Just like Dad taught me.
I love you Dad. I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, don’t worry. I’ll be home.