COVID and Dying Alone

A poster to be placed in Dad’s hospice room since COVID kept us out.

Dad died Sunday morning, October 11.

Alone.

I was not there.  My sisters were not there. 

We could not be there.  COVID-19 did not allow it.

On Wednesday, October 7, dad tested positive for COVID-19.  Yes, he was already dying.  That’s why he was in Hospice.  But COVID accelerated his death…and isolated his dying. 

Of all the pains of this pandemic – and there are many – dying alone has to be one of the most intense.  That dad was alone when he died haunts me.  

Oh, I know the Bible verses that assure us that “we are never alone,” but you get the point, don’t you?  I know without a doubt that God was there.  

But we weren’t.

I also know that the kind, competent, considerate nurse was at dad’s bedside minutes before he died, but she had to step out.  When she stepped out, dad slipped away.  I don’t blame the nurse.  Not one little bit.  Medical staff across the country have been heroic as they have served on the front line. They are angels of mercy holding the hands of the dying and spiritually placing those hands into the hands of other angels.   But they do not replace loved ones whom the dying need to be with, speak with, be with, one last time.  

And the loved ones need to be there one last time.

I don’t understand those who deny the severity and impact of the virus. I get a little mad about it.   Today, I just feel sad about it. 

 Where is the compassion toward and empathy for the dying and for the displaced living?  Are people unable or just unwilling to feel it? 

Our heath care workers get it. They have it. Compassion and empathy.

Thank you health care workers for not just caring for the body, but for the soul.  

12 thoughts on “COVID and Dying Alone

  1. I am SOOO sorry! This stinks! Praying for you to find peace and comfort somehow in such a horrible loss:(

    Thinking if you and your fam, Lauren (for Nate too)

  2. Heartbreaking that families can’t be at the bedside when a loved one is dying during this pandemic! I do believe that your Dad was at peace being alone and was ready. It’s just hard for the loved ones remaining to not be there and know…Dad was at peace when he passed and he knew I was there…I saw it, I know it, I’m at peace with it because I could say good-bye Dad, I love you…one last time. May God give you peace as you process through these initial phases of your grief and regrets for not being physically by his side! Love and hugs!!!

    • Thanks Jill. I’ve read some studies that indicate the toll the isolation has on the remaining family members. You really never know how important that is until you experience it. I guess that’s true for a lot of things!

  3. So so sorry. This is hard enough without Covid. I want your family to feel at this moment me holding you and my love pouring to you. It is a small comfort but even on the best of days it is really all we can give during this time. There are no words—— only LOVE!

  4. I’m so sorry Phillip. I went to see my Mom 2 weeks ago and had to see her through a plastic cage that was hot, she couldn’t hear me and I couldn’t touch her. I understand but I don’t understand. She just wanted a hug. Many hugs to you and your family!

  5. We’re so sorry for your loss. Especially to not have those final moments with him. Sending love and comfort to you and yours ❤️

  6. Phillip, I am so very sorry for you and your family in the loss of your father! My heart hurts for you in not being able to be with him. Hugs and prayers as you go forward without him. We know as Christians where our true home is. Even knowing that spiritually and intellectually cannot take away our sense of hurt and loss. May God continue to walk through this storm and all the days ahead.

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