Stories: Who We Have Lost

I Finally Got To Hug my Husband

Who did you lose to Covid 19? Chris Reitz

I had not seen him for 8 months. The nursing home had closed their doors to visitors. They the day they called to say he was sick with COVID-19 was the same day he died. I just wanted to hold his hand, to cool his forehead with a gentle cool cloth, to whisper my undying love for this man who held my hand through the birth of our children, surgeries, and losses over our 41 years of marriage.

I finally got to hug my husband, but he was not there. It was in my imagination. Then he died. He wanted to be cremated. I went and made arrangements. I still wanted to hug him, but they were not letting people near bodies of patients who died from COVID-19. They were unsure of the transmission of the virus.

I finally got to hug my husband, but he was not there. He was in a plastic box and I believe the funeral director thought I was crazy. I hugged that box. I talked to that box. I cried over that box. I thought I might not be able to stop hugging that box. I had him back in my arms, finally. We prayed over that box and then set him free.

I finally got to hug my husband.

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