Written by Jenna Wang
It had only taken twenty minutes. Twenty minutes for the ambulance to come by and take my grandmother to the place where she would breathe her last. If only I had that known the next time I would get to see her she would have already been reduced to ash.
When you hear the news of deaths worldwide, you never expect to be affected.
Here you are, stuck at home with nothing to do. There had never been a bigger feeling of disconnect from the outside world. Yet it had only taken me one day to realize that the outside world wasn’t as “outside” as it seemed.
The morning of, my grandmother was coughing profusely. She had been facing health issues in her later years so my mother had dialed for the ambulance to come by as she had done many times before. It felt different this time around though, Medical personnel wearing hazmat suits and all came down one by one as a response to the call. I was told to stay away so I watched from the window of my room as they left. It only took a few hours for my mother to call about her passing,
My grandmother’s heart had stopped before they could even make it to the hospital. She was cremated the very same day. I was told that there would be no procession, no ceremonies, and no wake. The only people that got to see her being laid at her final resting spot would be my mother and her siblings. The whole process only took three days. Although my grandmother wasn’t the most amiable character, I felt as if we had wronged in some way by stripping her of these basic things. Every time I pass by her room left ajar it almost makes me think that “she might be there” or even “maybe she just went out for a bit”, the emptiness and neatness of it all bring me back to the reality that she won’t ever be coming back. We still leave her door open and lights on during the night in hopes that if her soul ever gets stuck, the lights may guide her to Heaven.
To everyone who has had someone pass during this difficult time, know that you are not alone and that we are all here to support you. Death becomes all the more difficult to believe while you’re stuck at home and time may as well have stopped but please, believe it. Stay at home and stay healthy, if not for yourself than for everyone else around you.