Burying a loved one during a pandemic

Your family will then be told a week after you get sick that even though you have no chance of recovery and that all remaining care would be futile, they still cannot all come visit you in the hospital to say their goodbyes before your life support is removed. Not even in groups.

Instead, they will be told that only one person is allowed to come up and see you, even though you have two adult children who have been isolating for months and who have no symptoms related to the global pandemic. Your son will immediately cede the visit to your daughter. Your daughter will worry that she will be prevented from seeing you one last time as she flies in from out of state the day after you get sick and therefore has not been isolated for a two-week period, per the governor’s orders. She will tell half-truths to hospital staff when questioned, but the cardiac ICU doctors will largely seem unconcerned about where she lives.

Depending on the diocese you live in, you may or may not have access to last rites. The hospital may push back against family members who request that you receive the sacraments one last time. Your daughter will insist on it because it is important to her. She will be overcome with relief when she is told that it happened.