As of writing this, there have been over 100,000 deaths in the US attributed to Covid 19. The numbers are staggering and the grief is incomprehensible for a single mind to deal with. If numbers hold true and over 250,000 die before this from the virus, it would have been like having Pearl harbor happen weekly, 911 every 1.5 weeks for an entire year.
We all will be affected in some way during this time. Some more than others. I cannot begin to wrap my mind around those families that are dealing with multiple deaths from this virus. I cannot begin to understand what it was like to not be by the side of a loved one while they died in isolation.
Most of us will know someone, by one degree or another, that will experience loss due to this virus. Loss does not always mean death and in many instances, the loss will be felt for the remainder of your life. Whether that is the financial difficulty of losing a business, a job or your income. This manifests in cancelling or completely rethinking major events like a wedding, a planned get away or reunions.
With all of these thoughts in mind, it is hard not to think about what I’ve lost in this tragedy. It nearly overwhelms my senses that I can allow myself to think
‘but what about me?’
But in this time, when time is more abundant, what have I lost?
In this tragedy, my family lost a titan: my grandfather was the ‘man’ in every sense of the word. He was the pick yourself up by the boot straps second Generation New Yorker, he was the ideologue patriot who bled for his country in Iwo Jima and created a family tree of remarkable people with a loving wife of 60+ years.
Yet as large as he was in life and how strong he was in person, every person around him felt somehow comforted that he was simply there. In an essence, you were better by proxy and you knew that somehow that evening or event was as good as it could be.
This giant of a man died two weeks ago in the presence of his family, to the sound of the Pelt(marine) and with the flag draped over his body. He left the world in with the class and dignity that he brought to it every day.
The loss for the family is immense. He was one of one but the loss for the family is an open wound for now because we cannot celebrate his life in such a way that is befitting of a giant. We will be unable to mourn him properly until this passes and with that weight, this Covid battle takes on a new meaning for my family. The patience needed to grieve such an incredible man.
And while I’m tearing up over the words, another change to the Covid world touches my future family. My wife and I are expecting a baby girl in the next month and although we are prepared to give birth in near isolation/quarantine,
this passing of a titan reminds me of the stories of when we entered the world…with our families near by, able to share the moments that seem to slow.
Yet in this time in our history, we will share in the joy virtually alone. The joy of our first born will be immeasurable but it will always be remembered as one only Mom/Dad share for some time. The joy will be on hold for my family, much like the grief that we so desperately need to share.
This circle of life experience is bringing to light how much we need each person in our lives in new ways and how so many people are having to hold their lives, lengthen their pain or shorten their joy because we must remain united.
This is our generation’s sacrifice(so far) and while it will never be Normandy or Pearl Harbor, this will be a fight we all share as we have never been more alone and yet connected to pain, never more informed and yet disconnected from one another and never more.