We are listening to the stories of people who have lost someone [or more than one] to Covid-19 and today my friend Nicky Vigeland shares some of her story with us:
Life in the midst of death
2020. We all had many expectations, many dreams and so much hope. Who would’ve thought it would end up the way it did?
Coronavirus landed in SA, we all closed up shop, worked from home and adapted as best we could.
We heard that my aunt had been taken to hospital in June as she was struggling to breathe and had tested positive for Covid19. Our family prayed and waited on updates. She was in hospital for over a month. At one stage a video was sent of her singing and praising God and the next moment she took a turn for the worse. At the same time, we had my uncle in hospital- unrelated to Covid19- and a few family members had tested positive for Covid19.
Sadly, my aunt died on the 20 August 2020 and our family was shattered. She was the youngest of my mom’s sisters and the most joyful. Many stories of how she made an impact in the lives of others and ministered God’s love emerged after her death. Watching her sons’ hearts break and the immense loss was heartbreaking. I watched her funeral online encouraged by the testimony of her life. It was so sad that we could not all gather as a family to say farewell.
Hoping for Relief
Life continued and finally December came. Who wasn’t ready for a break after such a topsy-turvy year? Two weeks into the holiday and a message from our Director notified us that our dear administrator had Covid19, was hospitalized and a request to pray. They were able to stabilize her that night and I could breathe out and go to sleep.
The next morning, I just sobbed and sobbed on receiving the news that she did not make it. I could not breathe, it was so unexpected. She was so careful and worried more about her husband getting ill. I was shattered. Our family was shattered. There were so many questions but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that she loved Jesus and was safe in his arms. I was grateful to know those who were leading her online service and amazed to watch her encourage us in one of her work videos at her own funeral.
Returning to work was painful as I had been giving her a lift to work every day. I could only but sob as I drove alone to work. The empty space she left is still tangible and unbelievable. Each day a candle is lit in her honour at work.
The Overwhelming Nature of the Spike
During the holidays there were many friends, extended family and friends we were praying for who had tested positive. It was a continuous onslaught of Covid, Covid, Covid. Tiring, draining and seemingly never ending. Deaths of ministers I knew and others, in-between trying to rest and recover.
Then came a request to pray for my cousin and his wife. He was admitted to hospital and on oxygen. He did not want to go to ICU but ended up there. Two days later and another death. Another member of our family gone. Such sadness and brokenness. He wasn’t even 40…3 boys and his wife shattered. Looking at his picture, once again I sobbed. Lord have mercy. 500 people at his online service, again an amazing testimony of God’s grace and how he loved God and people. Unbelievable that 3 people close to me, under the age of 60 would die within a 6 month period.
The ugly reality of Covid19 resides in our midst. It is intangible but very real. It is devastating and debilitating. We can but do our best to stay safe, keep our family safe while we choose to love and serve others. We cannot live in fear or let Covid19 dictate hibernating in our homes. We all have a purpose. Let’s be kind, be hopeful and live our lives fully in the midst of death. Mourn, cry, let it out and choose to stand up again. This is hard and only by the grace of God do I stand.
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Sho, Nicky, thank you so much for sharing. i am struggling to get my head around losing one person that we love. But for you it has been three so close to you as well as many others you have known and cared for. This is absolutely devastating and i hope that the act of sharing this story with us has brought some kind of relief and hopefully it will encourage all of us to keep doing everything we can do to keep ourselves and those that we love as safe as is possible.
[For more stories from people who have lost someone, click here]