Dealing With A Loss
Rarely do I have a problem coming up with a topic to write about for my weekly missive. Not so this week. Do I write about the sluggish Santa rally? Do I talk about the vaccine? The stimulus package? The weird Christmas season? The loss of my older brother Roger? The new Congress and the inauguration? What the new year might look like?
I’ll take this space to tell you a little about Roger’s funeral. While this has been a year of change, some things remain unchanged.
First, so many of our clients still read the obituaries. I do every day. Thanks to all who reached out to share their condolences. They were much appreciated. Roger was in very poor health for the past few years and his passing was really a blessing. While he did not die of COVID, we in the family certainly felt the effects of the pandemic.
Since the lockdowns started at the assisted living home in March, we were not able to see Roger at all for eight months. The nursing home opened visitation for a few days but you had to make an appointment. By the time we were scheduled to visit, they locked down again.
As Roger’s health deteriorated, the best we could do was a FaceTime call or the good old telephone. We keep hearing about all those COVID patients who pass away without their families being able to see them. But it’s not just pandemic patients—this is happening to everyone confined to most hospitals, as well as assisted living and skilled nursing home facilities.
Then there was the funeral. We were limited to 25 people at a graveside service. At least we lucked out with beautiful weather. After the funeral, nothing. As is the Jewish tradition, we would usually all gather together back at a family member’s home and start the process of sitting Shiva. Stories would be swapped as we all consume a deli tray or smoked fish platter. If you’re lucky, sometimes both. This time… we couldn’t all gather together safely afterward. No corned beef sandwich. No lox and bagels. Oh well…
One last thing. Usually, the hearse would stay until the end of the service at the cemetery. They told me they would need to scoot right off after everybody gathered because the hearse was needed for the next funeral. The funeral home told me how swamped they were with COVID deaths. At least business is good for one industry…
Last night I lit the last candle for Hanukah. As we march towards 2021, enjoy the last weekend before Christmas.
Stay Positive & Test Negative…