Finding Resilience — Grief in the time of Corona
Imagine the worst of your nightmares come true. Your entire family gets covid. Dad gets hospitalised albeit delayed due to the shortage of hospital beds. Everyone else in the family is home isolated hoping & praying that we’d survive this virus. And then 4 days later, the dominoes start falling down. Be it your dad’s unexpected demise, or your spouse’s hospitalisation for 3 weeks or your mom’s health getting worse and you’re left alone with your brother thinking what else could go wrong.
Imagine this happening when you are 36 weeks pregnant.
And that's my corona story.
It’s been a heart wrenching experience since April where we witnessed the virus spread rampantly despite taking absolute precautions. It was impossible to believe that we could contract the virus especially after living in the bio-bubble strictly imposed by our mom. Every delivery gets quarantined for 48 hours, everyone’s worn a mask or 2 while stepping out & everyone drinks these indigenous concoctions to improve immunity.
What’s tragic about corona is that you are not surrounded by the loving care of your family & friends during the toughest times of your life. With everyone scared to check-in due to the rapid spread of the virus, you're left alone fighting, gasping for a fresh breath of oxygen. Wrapped in uncertainty about my husband’s health, worried about my pregnancy and filled with grief due to my father’s demise sums up our state of affairs.
For us as a small family unit, the path of recovery both physically and emotionally proved to be much worse. Survivor guilt engulfs us up most of the days as we keep discussing and googling alternative actions we should have taken instead. Probably we should have taken the 2nd vaccination dose earlier or had gone to a different hospital. Probably we should have risked our health and just stayed with our dad to take care of him.
Guessing the last thoughts of our dad, not being there for him when he always had our backs is excruciatingly painful. We did lose our pillar of strength and most days his absence feels surreal.
As I am finding my footing, I am inspired by the way my mom is there for me cheering me up despite losing her life partner. Her fighting spirit shows us that there’s still hope. I am equally awed to see my kid brother grow up, taking care of the family, solely settling the finances/bills, engaging with our extended family & friends and basically making my dad proud. As a family we’re finding strength in each other, reminiscing good old times with our dad, taking his lessons to heart and cherishing his memories.
The wise Dalai Lama once said “Happiness is the absence of grief”. While it’s too early to feel that way, I am thankful for the little family that I am blessed with, which has given me the courage to be resilient and face my fears.