This Pain of Grief Will Be With Me Forever, But This Pandemic Doesn’t Have To Be

I can’t believe that we are still in this pandemic. It has been almost 3 years and I’m tired of it just as much as everyone else is. How has this pandemic affected me, you ask?

To start, isolation more than normal and not being able to see my friends for long periods of time is what has been affecting me most during this pandemic. Not too bad, right? Then on January 3rd2022, my world changed forever.

My brother, who was just 26, had just received his driver’s license in December. He was so excited. He was looking at cars and was finally starting to get his life together. He was excited about life and the possibilities ahead of him. Covid took that from him and my family.

I know what many people may be thinking and asking, was he vaccinated? No, he wasn’t. He had a terrible fear of needles. The rest of my family was vaccinated and boosted; we all tried in our own way to convince him to get vaccinated. We told him it was the easiest shot ever and that it didn’t hurt at all. He did not believe any of the conspiracy theories out there. It’s not that he did not believe that the vaccine didn’t work. He just had a thing about needles. He wasn’t a bad person because he did not get it. One of the last things he said to my mom was that he wished he had gotten vaccinated.

Because of COVID, just like that, he’s gone. He passed away so unexpectedly, like millions of others. Millions of families have been affected by COVID. It’s still very much a thing, despite what people may think or feel. Just look at this covid map of cases. It’s definitely hard to look at, but beyond necessary for so many reasons.

Grieving is a freaking mess. One minute you’re fine, and the next you’re sobbing because you miss the person you loved so much. They should be here, and you wish so badly that they were. It’s devastating. You wonder how you’ll go on without them. Truth is, no one knows. How do I know this? Because along with my family, millions of families have lost sisters, brothers and friends to this. We are all collectively experiencing this life-shattering pain of grief that is, in truth, inevitable for everyone. But it’s not expected to be like this though. This way of dying is becoming normal, and I personally feel we are becoming numb to it, when no one should be. But here we are, almost three years into this, and the most frustrating part is people not willing to do what is needed to help us get to a better place. A place we deserve to be in right now.

We have the resources. Unfortunately, we also have people not wanting to do what needs to be done. That is their right, but let me paint you a picture. Try to imagine going to a wake and burial for your 26-year-old brother. You have immediate family there, but no other relatives, family, or friends because your two family members tested positive for covid. You didn’t want anyone attending and paying their respects to your family to be exposed. This is how it was for my family and me.

My family was very fortunate to be able to say goodbye to my brother. So many that have lost people they loved had to say goodbye through an iPad or phone. No one should ever have to say goodbye like that, but so many have had to do that during this pandemic.

This loss is something I will live with for the rest of my life, as will all the families that have lost people during this pandemic. Please take this seriously. Do what you can, not only for yourself but for society as a whole, so more people don’t have a part of their heart gone. A part of mine is gone because someone I loved died from COVID-19.

Featured Image via Unsplash.

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