I've been sick for a few weeks (because the heat makes MS much worse) and feeling sorry for myself, if I'm completely honest. I was hating this year. Hating feeling sick. Thinking how could this year get any worse? It already seems almost biblical - murder hornets, locusts, COVID19, quarantine. Every year I think it can't get any worse than last year.
I'm going to stop saying that shit.
I lost my mom on Monday. My mom who taught me the high art of fan-girling with subscriptions to Fangoria and Creep Show. Who watched every scifi and horror movie, no matter how terrible (looking at you "Night of the Lepus" https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069005/ )
She, of the photographic memory of anything she'd ever read - not to mention movie lines, song lyrics. We could have entire, deeply philosophical conversations using nothing but movie dialogue.
She had been sick for years with a blood clot near her heart that could neither be moved nor shrank with meds. It just stayed there, waiting. Two weeks ago she started feeling much worse. We don't know if it was COVID 19 because she refused to go to the hospital. Too many friends, and her own sister, had gone in and not come out. She didn't want to be away from home, away from family. So she refused to go in. She died at home. As far as we can tell, her heart stopped. We don't know if COVID gave the clot the opportunity to move or if it was something else. And now we won't ever know. I'm angry and hurt, but I can't really blame her either.
It's not just that COVID19 is sickening and killing so many - it's that it's isolating us. We can't support each other, comfort each other, or now, grieve together. We're all at risk to and from each other. We mourn separately. Talking on the phone. Sharing our music playlists and pictures. This is an awful time.
I wasn't going to write about this - not here. But part of what has me so angry is the denial so many people have about COVID19 - about their own responsibility in limiting the risk to others so we can get past this - past this to a time when we can visit each other and hug each other. My socials are filled with people saying it's a hoax, or it's just the flu. I'm in Texas and it's like the whole state is saying "you can't tell me what to do!" And we're all paying the price. It's not just if COVID19 gets you sick. If you get sick with anything that puts you in the hospital, you're isolated.
If you're reading this, protect yourself and protect others. Keep the distance. Wear a mask. Take this seriously.
And remember the advice from Jack Kornfield’s Buddha’s Little Instruction Book - "The trouble is, you think you have time." We never have the time we think we have. We never know if the last thing we said to someone, is the last think we'll ever get to say to them.
"Memory is an event horizon. What's caught in it is gone but it's always there." - sung by Breq, Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie.