Portraits of Loss
A collection of stories and essays that illustrate the indelible mark left on our community by a pandemic that touched all our lives.
I think there’s a common perception that older people who die of COVID-19 were previously really sick, or at least sickly. But my grandpa was pretty healthy and still super independent, driving himself around and going to the gym.
Last summer, he was in the hospital for blood-pressure issues, and he initially tested negative for the coronavirus. Then, right before he was supposed to be released, he tested positive — he had contracted the virus while he was at the hospital.
And then a couple of weeks later, on his 86th birthday, he passed away.
During that time, my family and I just had to wait and wonder what would happen. It was really hard, to just not know. And the hospital visiting rules made it hard — I only talked to him on the phone. My dad and uncle were able to see him in person, and it was really good that someone could be with him every day. We were lucky in that sense — a lot of people don’t even have that.