May 1, 2020 – I have been making cloth masks for a few weeks now. I have been sending or delivering them to friends and family and only asking for $2.50 a mask to cover the cost of supplies. Well, today my mom asked for some and even offered to pay. I told her thanks for the offer but for her they would be on the house!
Anyway, on the way to my mom’s house I was able to listen to some of my radio shows. I haven’t really been out at all except to deliver the masks and to run absolutely necessary errands (food for us, dog medicine and dog food) so I was excited to catch up on some of my shows. Today it was the Daily on NPR and it was an interview with a 12 year old girl who had recently lost her grandfather to Covid-19. It was so touching and the interviewer was so thoughtful and cautious yet really delved into the emotions and feelings that she was experiencing. For the most part, she was angry and sad. Angry because she wanted to know the why and how of the virus and sad because she deeply missed her grandfather and the times that she had spent with him. She was able to convey what a fun, mischievous, loving and caring guy he was and how she was not able to say a proper goodbye to him because of the illness and that he was quarantined.  She expressed how she denied how serious the illness was for him and that towards the end, she wore one of his old t-shirts at night to make her feel close to him. She also hoped that her parents would begin to let more emotions out about their grief and loss when she was around and to not try to protect her from seeing their vulnerability. She said that she thought that it would help her and them to process what they were all feeling after her grandfather passed away.

Even after I arrived at my mom’s house, I waited until after the show ended to get my gear on to give my mom the masks. I was so glad that I was able to see her even though I could not give her a hug. We talked about how frustrated we were that some people in our county were not recognizing the importance of self isolating and putting others at risk. We also discussed how angry we were that the VP of America did not wear a mask to a Mayo Clinic visit when a memo had been sent out beforehand that all visitors to the clinic were required to wear one and that EVERYBODY except him had one on! Not a good role model from my perspective. I hope that somehow he is able to hear the interview from The Daily so that he may truly understand the pain and suffering that this deadly virus has caused for the victims as well as the families.

I remember how I was unable to say goodbye to my grandmother. Even though I was 18, my mom did not want me to see my grandmother in the hospital, unresponsive. Perhaps it was too much for my mom to deal with, her mother close to passing away and her responsibility to comfort me too. I have often thought about and regretted not being able to say goodbye to my grandma but now, as a mom and from the perspective of losing a parent (my dad), I think I have a better understanding of what my mom was experiencing.
—Bridget Reilly
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