Quarantine Depression Diaries: A self-isolated funeral


Quarantine Depression Diaries column sig

Ryder Noah From

This is the second installment of Ryder Noah From’s new column, Quarantine Depression Diaries

Tuesday night, it wasn’t the coronavirus that got my grandpa, it was being old and ready to go. We all knew it was going to be soon; multiple heart surgeries and having cancer indefinitely doesn’t let a person live that long. Still, he lived a fulfilling life. It sucks it had to end during quarantine. 

Normally, the attire for a funeral is formal. He was dressed up in beautiful Jewish robes. Due to these times, hand gloves and breathing masks were the staple pieces of all those in attendance. That, coupled with a livestream of the funeral for the at least 60 people who couldn’t come, made it clear that this wasn’t a normal funeral.  

Death can already be the ultimate separation, with burial as its physical representation. But something about having to wear the gloves and the masks, something about a crying cousin having to announce that she needed to take it off for her speech, something about the many people that my grandpa had the uncanny ability to make feel like family being unable to attend made it all a barrier more profound and ironic than death. 

No funeral is ever happy. They aren’t supposed to be. But this stung more. I already feel like I barely knew him (my strongest memory was discussing gas prices with him in 2008), barely heard the many stories he had to share, and now, in the final moments of seeing him, filled with the regret of not getting to know him better, I couldn’t even feel the earth I was throwing into his grave. I couldn’t even give a true, final goodbye to one of the strongest people I have ever known. 

It shouldn’t have to be like this. Everyone who loved him should have gotten the chance to say goodbye. Would it have been such a bad thing to have a big crowd of people sending him off with loud cries echoing through the rainy, afternoon air?  

If it weren’t like this, more people would die, and consequently, there would be more disappointing funerals filled with more gloves and masks that can’t hide how powerful the tears are.  

Still, I wish it were different. He deserved to leave with the volumes of spirit he gave to the world. He deserved to have everyone say goodbye, and they deserved to be able to say it to him as closely as they could.  

What are the gas prices up there Papi?