The Reality Of Passing Away Today With The COVID Restrictions

Have you or anyone you know had to deal with the passing of a loved one with all of the current restrictions that are placed on the hospitals?

We got the call last weekend, they were calling the family in because my dad was not expected to make it. The issue with that though was that only 2 family members were allowed to be at the hospital and those were the only two allowed, we were not allowed to switch out the people.

It made sense that my older brother and mom head to the hospital because they are with him every day. When they arrived at the hospital, they were informed that they were able to watch my dad from outside the window of his room but were not allowed to actually go in his room.

The nurses could set up a phone outside the room and one in the room. The one in his room would be put on speaker phone and the one outside the room would allow them to sit and chat with him. He would be able to hear their voice but there would be no hugs, kisses or the ability to hold his hand. For myself and my younger brother, they gave us a phone number to call and they would have the phone set up on speaker phone and allow us to say our goodbyes.

I can’t imagine the pain and hurt my mom felt as she sat there looking at her husband of 52 years unable to touch him, unable to kiss his cheek, unable to hold his hand. After 52 years of being together, knowing that a permanent separation was probably immanent, and she could not hold her husband.

He beat the odds and he made the night, he held his own. The doctor came in the next day though and upon being updated with all of the information, we had to decide to have them remove the ventilator or not. There was really such a slim chance that he would survive and if he did, it would be on a ventilator in a hospital and that is NOT living.

The whole family decided that removing the ventilator was the best option. The ventilator was removed.

Now to me, this is the time that the family should definitely be allowed in the room with him. He did not have COVID!! There was no chance at survival at that time. He should have family by his side as he crosses over.

But no, the rules remained the same. They say the concern is for our well being. My thought process on this is that it was more dangerous that we all might get COVID walking through the hospital than it was to allow us with him. (By that time, they allowed my younger brother and I to the hospital as well if we wanted).

As my mom stood outside his window crying, seeing him so close with a heartbeat and not being allowed to touch him, to kiss him goodbye, to hold his hand, the trauma she had to endure knowing that this was the last time she would physically see him.

The last four hours or so of my dad’s life involved him lying there alone, just waiting for his body to shut down with no one by his side. For us, we all had to sit and wait for that phone call to come, not knowing what was transpiring but knowing his body was going to shut down.

For myself, I get the rules. I get that the hospital had to enforce the government regulations that have been placed on them. What I don’t get is my dad having to die alone. What I don’t get is that he did not have COVID, there was no chance for survival for him, and we were still not allowed to be there to show our dad, my mom’s husband, love, compassion and support as he crossed over.

What has happened to this world? How can anyone be ok with this?

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