I was away when some close family members: my close cousin Miguel, 22 years of age, an uncle in his 50s, and my very dear grandma, died. My best friend committed suicide at age 27 the same year.
I was young, also 27, and away from home, in Australia.
In the midst of the pain and the sad nostalgic feeling I knew that those dear ones were surrounded by love, and by meaningful religious rituals which helped to channel the pain, the rage and even the despair.
I knew that tears were shed for them and I knew that, through the distance, I could be part of it all, and peacefully do my own grief, quietly, without the hugs and comforting holding of hands of those beloved, knowing they were there, accompanying our beloved dead in their last farewell.
Now, is different. When she called me yesterday, my friend’s partner had died, and like the women at the tomb she didn’t know where they had placed his body.
He died alone, when his respirator was needed for a younger and healthier person. He was 59, and recently had been diagnosed with cancer. He was alone, infected with the corona virus, therefore isolated in a room, in a collapsed Hospital, near Madrid. Alone!!!
His body, now, is travelling in search of a fire which will put an end to the nightmare. They cannot keep up with the thousands of cremations, and the corpse, out there, alone-no family, no friends, no room to visit, nobody able to kiss him a goodbye or sign a cross on him- before sending it to the Mother’s arms. Everything through the phone, the screens…at a distance…
Oh God, our God, our Mother!!! Be with us all now and at the hour of our death. Amen!!!
I had to learn how to grieve from a distance, but I knew my family and friends were around our loved dead ones. Now the corpses are in boxes, in a line, waiting to be cremated, in some place, at some time and after almost 5000€ she doesn’t have, my friend will receive a jar which, in tears, she’ll place at someplace, when her time arrives.
Miriam of Nazareth had Jesus’ corpse on her lap. Now, so many cannot even have that. It is forbidden!!! Not even in war times…
My heart and yours, I know, go out to them all, in prayer.
Magda Bennásar Oliver, SFCC