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  • Writer's pictureRoo

Robbed by Covid

Updated: Jun 12, 2020

June 9, 2020


My father passed away in a long-term care facility on May 16.


It was a first class long term care facility, but still long term care.


I once read “that at the end of your life all you have is a small bed in a small room” but I know that you should never be alone.


He did not die of Covid but the consequences of Covid because it caused loneliness, separation, no stimulus, connection and loving care by his trusted caregivers and children.


It might have been Covid's new form of confinement disease.


I remember situated in the den of my parents’ home a book titled I’m Ok You’re Ok (Thomas Anthony Harris) prominently displayed.


I’m not ok!


Am I angry?


You bet.


Angry as hell!


I got robbed, cheated out of the precious time I could have had with Dad.


I was just getting good at choosing my time when to visit with him and not getting frustrated by him asking me the same questions over and over.


What do you do for work?


Do you have children?


Do you have a girlfriend?


My last visit was March 11 and it “rocked.” (that is great in my language)


Dad was terribly anxious. (now you know where I get it)


It was like looking in a mirror when he got anxious, but it was worth it as he was such a wonderful Dad.


It was a wonderful visit but I now regret that I left after he told me to wait in the lobby while his anxiety kicked in and he had to go to his room with his caregiver to look for his wallet. I knew he would not remember that I did not wait but I sure do regret leaving and will forever.


I did not realize that would be the last visit with Dad.


A week before he passed, I knew when one of the nurses told me he did not want his ice cream, the end was near.


I now know dementia has so may permutations and even though my Dad started to lose his short-term memory about 10 years ago, he always had his long term memory.


I would test him for names of his roommates at Mount Allison. We enjoyed remembering the old gags, the story about the nun, his first piano teacher, the salmon fishing stories and smoking a cigar. (“every puff is important”)


I am angry at the masses that think they have sacrificed a lot by staying isolated for 14 days, 10 weeks or whatever. Their entitled, irresponsible, selfish attitudes do not give them permission to flock to the parks, beaches or even protest (the real injustices of our society) because they will still get the chance to have their beer and nachos but I will never get the opportunity again to kibitz (joke) with my Dad.


I am angry at technology (even though I was a pioneer in the early cellular business).


During Covid a Zoom Shiva for my Dad was the only way to communicate. It was like adding salt to a wound, iodine to an open sore.


Pathetic


I am angry at my mental health challenges.


I thought that I had figured out all my triggers and had the necessary tools to cope.


I even thought that I was doing alright dealing with Covid (my blog Victim to Victor) and self-isolation but then


Wham


I watched on TV adult children having to press their noses against the window trying to get a glimpse of their parent in long term care facilities. I also read about it.


Experiencing it firsthand by not being able to see my Dad is devastating.


There is nothing good about Covid and the death of parent.


It is a true loss magnified by Covid.


I am angry as I am grieving the loss of a father, friend, mentor, and buddy.


I am also angry because I am now alone, an orphan.


Subconsciously I believe due to my mental health challenges after the passing of my mother four years ago I believed I had at least one parent to take care of me.


When I lost my mother, we had a jammed pack, memorable and meaningful Shiva, (I even made her favourite root beer floats) but not this time, no hugging, no reminiscing, and no socialization. Shiva is a religious tradition and a proven component of the grieving and healing process.


Nothing good.


Yes I am thankful of the life I had with my both my parents, the peaceful and perfect way my Dad left the world and even the graveside funeral that had no pomp or circumstance, just his four children and their spouses.


His grandchildren were able to Zoom in (now that was a benefit of technology) regarding the brief but still meaningful burial.


It was not unrealistic for me to believe 100% I would get a call and for compassionate reasons I could put on a gown, mask and gloves and say a proper goodbye.


Was I naïve to expect a final goodbye?


Covid is a curse in so many ways but nothing as dramatic and damaging as not being able to say goodbye.


My psychiatrist says I’m allowed to be angry.


I just need time to grieve and every day all I hear about is Covid so it might take some time.


People try to placate me about my Dad’s great life, his 92 years, and our meaningful relationship but it’s not working, and I currently do not have the patience to try and process it.


Can I find anything positive from this nightmare?


I am thankful for my physical health and how deeply family, my partner, and friends care.


I am thankful that I have had the time with my Dad for 65 years and once again I can contemplate the many aspects of


“value of time

- Bobby


 

Robert “Bobby” Koven has become an endearing advocate for mental health awareness: Krazy Wildman Bobby K. Using his unique brand of humour, Bobby reaches out to diverse audiences with a message of hope for those individuals and families afflicted with mental health challenges. Dispelling the myths, smashing the misconceptions and challenging the prejudices surrounding mental health, Bobby delivers a hard-hitting message...there is no magic bullet...just hard work and lots of practice...and he ought to know. Diagnosed in his early twenties with Tourette’s Syndrome, he now looks back on his past behavior with a new perspective. Drawing on his life experience for his jokes and stories, Bobby tries his best to erase the stigmas surrounding mental health issues.


One of the initiatives Bobby is a working on is a documentary "No Magic Bullet", which is the story of his personal journey of healing.


To learn more about Bobby and the projects he's involved with, go to his website.

Check out Bobby's beautiful sunset photos on Instagram.




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