With everything going on in the world, I certainly don’t want to contribute more negative news. But, on this blog I’ve always been open about the major losses we’ve faced.
This whole pandemic got a lot more real for us about a month ago when Matt’s parents became sick. After a few weeks of battling Covid-19 at home, Matt’s dad, Doug Johanson, was admitted to the hospital. Doug was on a ventilator for 12 days. Last Thursday, he passed away.
Obviously, we are all devastated. Our kids are having a hard time understanding this loss.
Brian, my 7-year-old, is constantly playing pretend about Corona Virus with his stuffed animals. He asked me the other day if I would hold and comfort one that was sick. I said “yes, of course,” and then playing along with his game, I added “I have it too, so he can’t infect me.” Instantly, Brian dropped his stuffed animal, grabbed my face between his hands, and said in a scared voice “are you really sick?” I quickly wrapped him up in my arms and said that I was not sick, but just playing his game with him. I could feel his tension ease right away.
Yes, this whole worldwide tragedy feels a little too close to home right now.
Matt is busy helping his mom work out the details while she grieves her husband. She seems too young to be a widow. They were going to be celebrating their 50th anniversary soon.
I can’t speak for everyone else’s grief, only my own. I loved and appreciated Matt’s dad so much. He was a great man and taught my husband to be a great man.
After he retired as a pilot and an officer in the Air Force, Doug went on to have a second career later in life as a high school calculus teacher. Doug was nerdy in the best sense of the word. He loved to think about and discuss complicated topics. He enjoyed symbolism and had a great memory for details.
The Johanson family has suffered a lot of loss in the past 16 months. I know we’re not alone. My heart goes out to all those out there suffering right now.
If you see me trying to focus on the positive and post silly things over the next few weeks, like about how I cut my own hair during quarantine last week, just know part of grief is figuring out how to carry on living.