Patricia McCarthy – Whitby and the pandemic : a virtual archive of people’s experiences

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You would like my experience of the pandemic. This is my mum Margaret Hannah Hutchinson. She died in Hazelgrove court nursing home Saltburn-by-the-Sea of coronavirus on the 4th of may 2020. She was 93. She had dementia but other than that she was fit and well. It took 3 days to take her away from us. We couldn’t be with her in her last days as it was too risky and for that I feel as though I let her down. The home had been in lock down since the middle of March. So we hadn’t seen her for weeks. We couldn’t even wish her happy birthday on the 20th of March. I received a phone call at 11.20pm on the day she died. I felt numb. When I organised the funeral is was surreal, it had to be done over the phone and e.mail. Just to add to our distress we couldn’t have a church service. We could only have 5 at the funeral which would take place at the graveside. She couldn’t be buried in her own clothes. We couldn’t have any limousines and no wake afterwards to talk about my mums life. It’s been awful. The family as a whole is devastated. We will all eventually recover from our loss but to us our world has been taken away from us. It’s an awful time when you can’t even hug your son who is grieving for his nana because of social distancing. 2020 will go down as a year we will never ever forget.

Pat McCarthy