My mum and I were just having a conversation. She told me that when someone dies of old age, it’s easier to accept. As much as you have loved them, the fact that they were so old makes it a little easier to accept. Yet, when someone passes away before their time due to a disease, it’s a different kind of pain entirely.

Today, an old man who lives in my building passed away. He had been admitted to a hospital around 10 days ago because he’d tested positive. He was old, yes. But he wasn’t old enough that you can accept his death.

Like I said, an ambulance had arrived to take him to the hospital 10 days ago. I saw him get into that ambulance, and I watched it drive away. That is the last time I ever saw him. He came back home last afternoon but by the evening, his oxygen levels were in the 40s and he had to be admitted again. This time, one of the doctors in our building took responsibility and he was, once again, taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

He had multiple cardiac arrests, and he passed.

I didn’t know him well. I had only said a total of 5 sentences to him in the 13 years I’ve seen him around. But his death hit me differently because it could’ve been, by all means, caused by the imbalances caused by COVID.

It feels strange because all I can think about right now is his wife, who doesn’t know yet. And his son, who’s coming home so he can break the news to his mother. And his daughter who’s five months pregnant, in another country and possibly can’t travel. There’s a chance that they won’t even be able to perform the final rites with his body.

His death hit me differently because I have never experienced the death due to disease like this before. It’s entirely terrifying. And I hope that he’s at peace now.

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