We all watch the news, read articles on the Internet, see the images from around the world. Life isn’t a great deal of fun for anyone right now is it. I long for normality, to not think before I do anything or go anywhere. To be able to hug people, see people, go for long walks in our favourite places and have adventures near and far. On Monday night there was a death in the family. Covid-19 claimed another victim, robbed another family of someone that was loved and cared about. That victim was my OH’s uncle, his godfather, the very last of a generation.
He died in hospital, on a Covid-19 ward and I’m sure he was well cared for by the medical team who looked after him. You feel numb, you can’t believe it can be true. Guilt for not visiting enough before the world went mad, sadness for things unsaid and stories no longer shared.
All of a sudden the numbers spouted by politicians, journalists and experts are different. You know that they’ve always been people, cherished people, but now those numbers have a face, a voice and a name to go with them. Now it’s personal, no longer a headline or a byline, but a family reality. Uncle Sid, a good man.
In a normal world you’d be there to help with anything that needed doing. Nothing is normal anymore. To go to a funeral without hugs and shared affection, just seems so alien. That’s if you are even allowed to go, if its safe to go. To not be together to raise a glass, to remember a life well lived, to talk, to laugh and shed a tear, together. Reality right now just isn’t as we now it.
You become so acutely aware that life is no longer normal. A death in the family is never easy, and to be frank, I hadn’t considered that any Covid-19 sufferers would come from my OH’s side of the family. I really hadn’t. I’d been totally focused on the daily updates from Spain, and my Auntie in a care home and my Uncle with cancer and my BIL with his various health issues. I’d not thought beyond them, I should have done. I just didn’t think.
What will the PM announce on Sunday? A new normal faces us all. It’s daunting to think that life might start to open up again. What if this is just the beginning rather than the middle, certainly not the end. Will we ever be able to breathe without worrying, touch things without thinking twice. See people we love and care about and tell them of their importance to us, face to face. Will we be able to send our children off to school without worrying about them constantly. Will they be able to play tag and mess around with their friends, sit with them at lunchtime and share jokes. Will flying anywhere ever seem like a viable option again. Will there be any airlines left to fly with. Will there ever be flour left on the supermarket shelves again?
A death in the family makes it all so very much more real. The reason we have all been living in our own little bubbles for all these weeks. Days, weeks and even a month, all swallowed up in a blur. A house that’s even more full of clutter and toys everywhere. Travel plans cancelled, day trips cancelled, longed for breaks away with friends postponed until next year (hopefully). No planes in the sky, wasted memberships, a car full of petrol with nowhere to drive. No longer being able to browse, no shops open to browse in! Coffee and cake dates with friends put on hold.
All of these inconveniences, all of them and more, all so that more of us don’t have to live with the reality of suffering a death in the family. So whatever happens on Sunday, what ever barriers are lowered just please still be careful. Still think, still be aware. This isn’t done. This isn’t over.