“Being 86 years old and still living is a miracle itself, but sometimes when the sun goes down and my room becomes dark, I wonder if it’s actually a miracle or a punishment of some sort,” Maria said to me with a look in her eyes that is honestly too dark to describe. Looking at her, I felt as though all she wanted to do was rest because she lost the meaning to live.
“My entire life, I cared for my children and my husband. I’d feed them, take care of them and solely just live for them. My entire life I just wanted to get married, watch my children get married and then watch them have a family. However, now I think it was all pointless. Its 7 pm, the room once that was filled with laughter is now silent and I don’t know if it’s my fault that my kids don’t want to visit me. I don’t know” said Maria, confused and sad.
How could she not be?
She lays in her bed from morning until night. The only interaction she has is with her private nurse and the housekeeper. Little did she know her children actually loved her too much to visit. How ironic – how can you love someone and not want to visit?
Well, this is the year of COVID. Aren’t we all separated from the ones we love?
Maria had a small problem; she was diagnosed with short-term memory loss. Remember Dory from finding Nemo? Whenever anyone would say anything to her, she’d forget it in a matter of seconds. So did Maria. Her kids would remind her every day that there is a pandemic going on, but she’d forget, leading her into a vortex of a depression. She started believing no one loved her and thus, she started losing the ability to move her legs. She would stay in bed all day, ringing the bell whenever she’d need anything from the nurse or the housekeeper.
“Ding Ding Ding” rings the phone and her wrinkly hands slowly grab the metal rectangular piece with a glass screen that is the only thing that keeps her in contact with her family.
“Hi nana,” says Hanna, her granddaughter, through the phone.
“Hi sweetheart, I miss you, why aren’t you coming to see me,” Maria says in agony.
“Nana I told you, there’s a pandemic. It’s for your safety,” says Hanna.
In those few seconds, Maria closed her eyes and once she opened them, small droplets of tears began to fall. However, she didn’t remember why she was crying, she forgot everything she said.
Her nurse turned towards me and said I think that’s enough for today.
As I walked out of her room, I saw her lay on her medical bed while looking at a clock. The room she stayed in was so cold and the atmosphere was so lonely. You could feel Maria’s feelings without even trying. This pandemic has truly shifted the way of life for millions of people, especially for the older generations. Please try to give them love, even if you’re not around. COVID-19 is a deadly disease, but loneliness is another form of death in itself.
Featured Image Credit: Haneen Akbari