I don’t know if I lost you to dementia or to covid, my mind can’t make that choice.
It’s not that you were infected with the virus, it was merely that the virus’ subconsciously stole your last months from us.When the virus locked us down, it locked you away, secluded and alone. Vulnerable between four strange, unfamiliar, beige walls. Strapped to the confinements of a bed and fed through a bottle.
It’s not that the virus ever fled through your being, it’s that the virus took the last of you being. Those months should have been decorated in family and relatives honouring and fulfilling their last months with you. When the virus separated us, it took you as its prisoner. It made sure you were not to see any familiar faces. No kind smile, or green sparkling eyes, that despite not knowing anything, something deep inside you would know you loved them. Your family could acknowledge a glimmer of hope, that despite ultimately losing you, whilst you still lived on this earth, for a split second you returned to them. But, they had none of this.
When the virus trapped us inside our homes, it trapped you behind a singular square window. A window you couldn’t even see out of. It’s not that the virus made you poorly, it’s that it stole your very few last days of being you away from us. A foggy, unclean window, a white line signalled down the middle. Behind it, a shell of a woman, who was once the light in a room, the energy that perked everyone else up. Can you hear us through the glass? Do you even know who is behind the clear space in the wall?
How do you survive day by day, whilst being stripped of your memory, barred from your family, surrounded by strangers feeding you and only being moved from your bed, when they choose it’s the right time.
A disease so cruel it makes you lose yourself whilst still breathing the same air you’ve breathed your whole life.
But what is crueler?
Night by night I ask myself if we’d still have a bit more of you left for us to share if it wasn’t for the virus. Were there more days left in you to spend laughing round the table, more hours I could watch you dance in my living room, more minutes I could hear you sing que sara and your favourite Irish songs. Did the virus make the disease kill you faster? Did it ultimately make you want to give up?
It’s not that I lost you to the virus, it’s that the virus pinned you down, locked you away and stole our last precious days together.