Saturday, November 28, 2020


Last Monday, November 23, my cousin Chris died. He got to be 82. Today was his funeral.

About three weeks ago he landed in hospital after suffering a stroke, which left him paralysed to one side. Even before the stroke not in stellar condition, he contracted Covid-19 while in hospital. A swallowing problem, no doubt aggravated by loss of coordination due to the stroke, led to saliva entering his lungs, which in turn caused pneumonia. Chris did not have a chance. Less than two weeks after entering hospital, his body gave up.

Perhaps worst of all, due to stringent corona regulations, neither his wife nor close family members were allowed to see him during his time in hospital. Only in his last hours, when hospital staff sensed death was imminent, was Chris' spouse allowed at his bedside - when he was already in a coma. Chris died lonely and miserable, deprived of the consolation his partner and soulmate could have offered him in his last moments.

Other corona regulations stipulate that funeral attendance cannot exceed 15 persons, which meant that only the closest family circle of the deceased can attend. It was a decent enough Mass, and this is one of the musical works that were played, Beethovens Mondscheinsonate:

The only good thing about today was that the weather was decent, so that after Mass we were able to follow the hearse on foot to the cemetery and at least have our minds lifted somewhat by bright sun and azure sky.

I regret that I was not able to greet the body one last time - another consequence of the corona regulations. I regret that Chris' mortal remains were cremated - but if that was his wish, or his wife's, so be it.

With my cousin's passing, yet another huge character from my childhood days disappears, after my father in 2011, and my uncle, my father's brother, in 2018. Chris, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have meant for me.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." ~ Psalm 23:4 ~

God Bless. And let us also pray for his wife A., 23 year his junior. By all accounts, it was a happy marriage, and A. is heartbroken.