On March 6, 2020, Papa was released from the hospital and sent home on hospice. This wasn’t the homecoming we had been hoping for. But once there, his furry female roommates showered him with kisses and we ordered him one of his favorite meals: Culver’s batter-fried fish dinner!
Papa made it home just in time because the world started to drastically change in the days that followed. A COVID-19 pandemic has caused hospitals to minimize or ban all visitors, stores and restaurants have begun shutting down, and even my school closed its doors.
Communities have been encouraged to engage in virtual learning and remote work, social/physical distance, wear masks, and quarantine if experiencing symptoms to flatten the curve of the coronavirus spread. Some people say it feels like the world is ending. And even though Papa’s diagnosis made it seem like our world was sort of ending before the pandemic struck, mom says it’s also important to find other perspective, like this one:
“When you go out and see the empty streets, the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms, don’t say to yourself, ‘It looks like the end of the world.’ What you’re seeing is love in action. What you’re seeing, in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other, for our grandparents, for the immune-compromised brothers and sisters, for people we will never meet. People will lose jobs over this. Some will lose their businesses. And some will lose their lives. All the more reason to take a moment, when you’re out on your walk, or on your way to the store, or just watching the news, to look into the emptiness and marvel at all that love. Let it fill and sustain you. It isn’t the end of the world. It is the most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness.” – Author unknown
So, as we move through the tragedy of Papa’s failing health during a global pandemic, instead of only grieving the loss of what was, we also let ourselves feel what is indeed remarkable: love and solidarity.