I feel like every time I log on here and start to write these days, it is always about coronavirus, but really, what else is there to talk about. I mean life carries on as normal, but at the end of the day things are not really normal for any of us at the minute.
So what prompted this post you ask yourself, well, it was actually my reading of a story on the news, a sad story about a couple who had passed away from Coronavirus, within 12 hours of each other. I can only imagine the loss and grief their family must be experiencing. They like so many others will find themselves in the situation of not being able to celebrate the life of their loved ones as they normally would, in the company of their family and friends.
I suppose the line that resonated with me the most however was the fact they were not going to be able to hold a wake and hear all the stories that others had to share about the couples life.
A wake is a social gathering associated with death, usually held before a funeral. Traditionally, a wake takes place in the house of the deceased
Here in Northern Ireland, wakes are a thing, I can remember a few times the Fathership coming home a little worse for wear as we would call it, in other words drunk, after having raised perhaps one too many glasses out of respect for the dearly departed.
When my Mum passed away, our house became an open one to accept the many people who cared enough to come and pay their respects. We were given, love, kindness and food in abundance.
In the four years prior to my Mum’s passing and as the dementia got worse, while she was still my Mum, she was not the same person through no fault of her own. When living with and dealing with that situation every day, it was hard to remember the person she was before, because like with the coronavirus, we had to adjust to a new normal.
This is where the wake and the stories that were told became so important, because through listening to others and their memories of what she was like, it helped to erase some of the bad memories of the preceding years and replace them with good ones, reminding me of the person she was before.
There was laughter and there were tears, but it was a nice in between before the end of a long road. So I am sorry for this family and that due to this situation that we find ourselves in they will not be able to experience this small sense of comfort like we could.
We’re in the second wave that they kept warning us about and its seems scarier in some ways than the first. I know that face masks and socially distancing are an issue for some and there are very many theories circulating about the legitimacy of it all, but for me it’s simple, people are dying, so we can’t do nothing.
I hate wearing a mask, but I think of all the people in the emergency services who have to wear one every day, who despite being as worried as we probably are, turn up for work every day to care for the sick. To keep us safe and to stop us dying. So my wearing a mask is a small matter compared to that.
I think about my family, my friends, especially those who have lost loved ones during this time and my work colleagues and that’s also reason enough.
And I think about this family and their loss too, and the fact that they cannot share stories and memories with the ones they love.
That should be a good enough reason for us all.