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On April 7, 2021, just 12 days after being exposed to COVID 19 my husband collapsed and later that morning died from COVID pneomonia. He was just 50 years old and a father to two children ages 18 and 16.

We were to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary on 4/28/21 and instead I was making funeral arrangements for the love of my life. Nothing has been the same since that awful morning.

I was truly blessed to have been a part of Leon’s life, he was a father, brother, uncle, business owner and a beautiful soul.

Because of COVID restrictions, I wasn’t allowed to be in the hospital until after he died. My husbands last moments were spent with strangers.
It still breaks my heart to say that he died alone just three days after arriving at the nursing facility and five days before Thanksgiving (his favorite holiday). While some of you may have been cooking turkey and eating stuffing for Thanksgiving, my family spent our holiday collecting my dad’s ashes.

My family suffered in silence, unable to have a funeral or grieve with others. The collective grief of 2020 was magnified when your loved one died in a pandemic from the virus that caused it. The trauma was lived out over and over again each time you heard about COVID-19 in the news or learned about friends and family contracting the virus, trying to show up for life each day with the fear that you might again lose another.

Please do not forget all that you, your families, and the nation have endured so that we may never have to live through this extended 
tragedy again.

Patricia Ward (Maine)

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