Published on July 28, 2020

Virus’ victims are not only the ones who catch it

By Edward A. Forbes / The Bulletin

Covid-19 got me, but not in a traditional sense. The virus that has brought tragedy to so many families took me by surprise when it made me more isolated. And, I realized that I had to do something about it, even if it was just to get in the car and drive - to a funeral.

I have been struggling with depression for the past few months. I suppose there are many of us who are struggling with the craziness in our world and social separation that deprives us of our friends. I make myself get up and struggle to maintain the normal routine. I have coffee with two different groups of friends, and then I go home.

I am a social animal and don’t do well alone. Granted, it doesn’t have to be a crowd; one other person will suffice. My children and grandchildren give me fixes of the mayhem associated with raising children. But there is the feeling of isolation from my peeps and peers; I miss them.

I relented and shared with my doctor, and he prescribed medication. It’s only been a week, but I’m beginning to see some light in what had been mostly darkness. I feel more a part of the world.

I finally went on a small road trip by myself. I thought about it for a few days, and on Saturday, I just did it. I went to a memorial service for a man who was three years ahead of me in high school. Not a classmate but a respected schoolmate in that small town of Luling.

He passed in May, but restrictions precluded the traditional service and family mourning that we in the south expect with a relative’s or friend’s passing. May went by, and then June followed without the anticipated removal of COVID restrictions, so a July memorial service was held at the local cemetery in 100-plus-degree heat. God blessed the attendees with a large tree and a Sahara-type breeze. A nice-sized group gathered for the service, and I was glad that I attended to assure a respectable gathering.

His children got to express their emotion over his passing; a friend did an acapella rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” that was nicely done and fit well. I didn’t attend the gathering after the service as I only knew two people there. They didn’t need me to share funny remembrances and tales they shared in, or knew of.

I’m glad I went. I feel sorrow for the many who haven’t had the opportunity to gather and share their grief and find solace through a common emotion.

My family usually takes a week in good times to organize, find and notify all relatives and then holds the funeral. Then there is a gathering at someone’s home with copious amounts and varieties of food. The food is eaten; youngsters go outside to play (although in today’s world, text on their phones or play video games); and the rest listen or tell stories about shared adventures or tall tales they have heard. It soothes many. The immediate family is given a brief respite before they must deal with the loss in their daily lives.

It isn’t perfect, but there is hope that the new normal will be closer to the old than today is.

(Edward Forbes wants to hear from you. Email him at eforbes1946@gmail.com or send comments by snail mail to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX. 77516.)