Tag Archives: Pandemic

From inside the ‘Cocoon’ – The first tear of the day

The first tear of the day.

A tear (Image menshealth.com)

Today I read a comment by a recently retired and highly respected broadcaster and journalist. He referred to receiving a compliment for wearing a face covering, and this caused him to shed ‘the first tear of the day’.

The ‘first tear of the day’. This stopped me in my tracks, because I have developed a habit of noting when it comes – sometimes on waking, but more usually about noon or early evening. I wonder how many others can identify with it?

This pandemic has chipped away at our resilience and confidence. It is hard to avoid the emotion of it, the sorrow for the overwhelming loss it has brought to so many people in so many ways.

In spite of the easing back and lifting of restrictions, many have become more fragile. Feeling low, unable to sleep, being overcome by stories of personal loss or simply bursting into tears for no apparent reason- these are the milestones of the day.

But tears do bring comfort. Whether in a short overspill, a quiet eye-stinging cry, a heartbreaking weep or a convulsive sob, they do ease the emotional pain.They soothe our raw edges, so we can keep going for another while.

The Government has now launched the In this together initiative in recognition of the impact this pandemic is having on the mental health of the entire nation. As part of that wellbeing campaign, the RTE Concert Orchestra and Sibéal Ní Chasaide have come together virtually to record ‘Mise Éire’ which you can hear here.

We will grow out of this hard place.

Growing out of a hard place (Image the silvervoice)

Context

Here in Ireland, everyone who is compromised by health issues and those aged over 70 must stay at home during the Covid-19 Pandemic with food and medication being delivered by family members or teams of volunteers. This is called ‘Cocooning’ and this is a series posts from inside the cocoon.

STAY SAFE. STAY HOME

IN THIS TOGETHER

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Filed under Covid-19, Ireland, Living in Ireland, Living with COPD, Seniors

From inside the ‘Cocoon’ – Sorrow

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is purple-hyacinth.jpg
Purple Hyacinth – symbols of sorrow (Image Amazon.com)

I have just had a long conversation with a friend. This is a friend of many decades, of similar age, who is also inside the ‘cocoon’ in a different part of the country. We had a long chat for over an hour, at the end of which, and out of the blue, came the revelation:

”I burst into tears without any warning and weep uncontrollably for 10 or 15 minutes – every – single -day.

For all that has been,

For a lifetime of loss – of family, of friends.

For all that we may never know’

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is weeping-.jpg

I answered truthfully –

So ….Do ….I

I wonder how many silent tearful ‘cocoons ‘ are there up and down the country?

I am reminded of lines by W.B Yeats in ‘The Stolen Child’

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you
can understand.”

Younger generations in particular and many more, will not understand.

Context

Here in Ireland, everyone who is compromised by health issues and those aged over 70 must stay at home during the Covid-19 Pandemic with food and medication being delivered by family members or teams of volunteers. This is called ‘Cocooning’ and this is a series posts from inside the cocoon.

STAY SAFE. STAY HOME

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Filed under Ireland

From inside the ‘Cocoon’ – Dying

Padraig Byrne peers into the hospital room where his brother Francis had just died. (Copyright Padraig Byrne)

This image will almost certainly become an iconic one. Here is Padraig Byrne, looking into the hospital room where his brother Francis had just died. Unable to be by his dying brother’s bedside, Padraig was desperate to be near him at this time and seized the opportunity to get as near as possible by pulling up a park bench and being able to see into the room where his brother lay.

Who would have thought that people are dying alone in hospitals, with family members unable to be there?

Such is the impact of the Covis-19 lockdown.

In Ireland, we ‘do’ death, dying and funerals very well, with huge rituals, crowds of people, plates of sandwiches, prayers, handshakes, all-night sittings at wakes, more plates of sandwiches and tea, more handshakes. Often unknown nooks and crannies of the life of the deceased are revealed by all who knew them, and often, that there are surprises that many knew nothing about. But these comforting rituals, like everything else during this crisis, has been turned on its head.

Now funerals are sadder and lonelier events with no church service and only a handful of mourners permitted in the cemetery.

No rituals

No comfort

No sandwiches

No handshakes and

No hugs.

Such hard and challenging times for all who are the bereaved.white-petaled flower illustration

 

And that includes a dear friend who lost her beautiful mother just a week ago. We could not stand with her when we should have been travelling from all over the country to share in her grief with our hugs, handshakes and words of sympathy.

It has happened and continues to happen all over the world, already more than half a million times, and counting.

We grieve for all of those who have been lost and for all those left behind. And this is for them.

  • Here in Ireland, everyone who is compromised by health issues and those aged over 70 must stay at home, with food and medication being delivered by family members or teams of volunteers.
  • This is called ‘Cocooning’ and this will be a series of short posts from inside the cocoon.

 

6 Comments

Filed under Ageing in Ireland, Covid-19, Ireland