On loss

It’s been a difficult year so far, but last week it got a lot harder.

At the beginning of January an elderly friend died. She was a great person, and I miss her a lot, but she’d been in pain and bedridden for a while. In her late-80s, with rheumatoid arthritis that was proving difficult to treat she’d really started feeling (and expressing) that she’d had enough. There was a lovely funeral at which her three children did this great hand-off to each other remembrance of her life. I think about her often.

Then, coronavirus landed in a serious way and started to change how we live.

I have no issues with lockdown and social distancing (except that they were imposed too late to make a difference to many people). And for a good while I felt lucky that the one person I knew who became ill with Covid got better fairly quickly.

Then, last week, that all changed. My ex-husband (very ex – around 20 years) died of Covid-related pneumonia. He’d had surgery a number of weeks earlier and was struggling with the recovery – but he was recovering. It had been clear it would be a difficult recovery, so no one was surprised by that … we all just continued to worry and hope.

But as we know this coronavirus hits worst when the immune system isn’t strong to begin with and that’s where he was. His partner was able to get him moved to the community hospital near where they lived and she was allowed to visit him (she’s now self-quarantining). So, at least she could be with him before he died.

Last Tuesday, however, his body gave out. It’s hard to fathom that this vital, engaged human being who contributed so much is gone. I’m very sad. I’m also hugely frustrated that we can’t gather together to grieve and celebrate a life well lived and support his partner, make sure she’s not alone. But we’re coming up with online and on-paper ways to memorialise him and provide support and no one is complaining. Just being focused and creative, thinking about him, and finding our solace where we can.

Rest in peace, Pete.

  • March says:

    Again, I am so, so sorry about this. Loss is hard enough without being able to get together with others and mourn properly. I hope you can find a way to support his partner long-distance; she is lucky to have you.

  • gwenyth2 says:

    I’m sorry for your loss and the pain you are feeling.
    During this situation currently spreading around the world, so many people are experiencing difficult times. Even as we adapt and change there will be many new challenges ahead of us. Many are suffering, many are frightened. However, this unique situation presents each of us with the opportunity to learn how to be better friends and neighbors. Perhaps we will be more likely to reach out to those who are suffering and find new ways to offer comfort and help. I know that being physically separated from friends and loved ones makes it necessary for me to reach out more often, and I think that is a good thing.

  • Portia says:

    1000 socially distanced hugs Cinnamon.
    Portia xx

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss Cinnamon. These halfway measures of memorializing someone’s life, or celebrating a birthday, anniversary, etc. will be long-remembered for how strange they felt. A sign of these unusual times, sadly.

  • Musette says:

    Oh, Cinnamon – my heartfelt condolences to you, Pete’s partner, and everyone who loved and cared for him. I am so happy his partner was able to be with him. Take care of yourself – and thank you for wanting to help support her during this awful time.


  • rosarita313 says:

    My deepest sympathy, Cinnamon. Not being able to gather to mourn is such a cruel end to this devastating illness. Please remember to take care of yourself during this exceedingly difficult time.

  • Cinnamon says:

    Thank you, all, for your kind words. We’re slowly putting together an obit, a sort of pamphlet of comments about him, and there should be a Zoom or FB Live commemoration at some point. So, there’s that. Agree Bee that Covid will negatively affect many more people than just those who are directly impacted by the virus. I hope we’ll come out of this different, with different social priorities.

  • Bee says:

    Sorry for your loss. It’s particularly hard now when people can’t share the burden of grief. I hope you can gather people together and celebrate his life properly at some point in the future. At the weekend I found out an old friend had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer just before lockdown. There should have been emergency treatment immediately but he had to wait for weeks and now is struggling to get the support he needs. There is never good time to be ill but the pandemic is making everything that much harder. I wonder how many people we will tragically lose from Covid-19 being a ‘side-effect’ to their problems. Stay safe and well everyone.

  • MMKinPA says:

    So sorry for your loss, particularly during this challenging time.

  • Gina T. says:

    My condolences. How terrible. It sounds like he had an amazing impact on many people. May your heart be strong. The world is big enough and there are enough of us to hold your tears with you.

  • matty1649 says:

    So sorry for your loss.

  • Kathleen says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you a big hug.

  • filomena813 says:

    I am sad for your loss.

  • Tara C says:

    My condolences to you on your loss. Such a hard thing to bear, and now having to do it alone without the support of family and friends. May his memory be a blessing and may you be comforted among all who mourn.

  • Queen-Cupcake says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Made harder for not being able to grieve in company. Prayers for you, your ex-husband, and all his family and friends. Loving wishes for continued good health and safety.

  • Patty says:

    Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. There will be so much out of this, and to not be able to grieve in all the ways that comfort us is hard. Many hugs to you.