How I Survived My Father Fighting COVID and Helpful Resources

June 21, 2020 (Father’s Day)- My brother took dad to the Emergency Room where dad was confirmed COVID positive.
Dad, siblings and me celebrating Shabbat through Facetime while dad was in the hospital.
Joseph Mach performing an evening of music on Zoom.
  1. Friends and family- Stay connected. Talk about what’s going on and be real. It’s really easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re going through an experience like this. With the situation at hand, combined with the grief and powerlessness, there were many days I forgot to eat, even drink water and taking a shower brought on anxiety because I was afraid to miss a call from the doctors and hospital. My anxiety peaked, my sleep decreased and my appetite was non-existent .There were a lot of things happening all at the same time and it was important to make sure I was taking care of myself. Sometimes it took a reminder from a friend or family member. Sometimes it was someone there to listen as I cried and felt scared. Having community around was paramount in feeling supported.
  2. Prayer- This is an extension of community because there were many people around my dad, family and me offering prayers. At times, I found myself on the ground in prayer, completely in surrender and leaning into the divine. Sometimes this looked like singing the Jewish prayer, Mi Shebeirach, and other times just talking to God. This looked like listening to music and finding comfort in the lyrics and sometimes sitting outside next to the creek in deep uncertainty and watching the water flow and listening to the birds chirping. Some of these resources were Urban Adamah, Avodat Lev, Aleph’s Kesher Fellowship, and the clergy of Beth Yeshurun in Houston, TX and Agudas Achim in Austin, TX and I’m sure I’m forgetting others so forgive me.
  3. COVID Grief Network- I received 6 weeks of support through the COVID Grief Network, and it was really helpful especially, as I transitioned back to Houston while also having a parent so sick. Their mission is undoing isolation for young adults in their 20s and 30s grieving the illness or death of someone close to COVID-19. It was a pretty simple process, I filled out this form, and then a couple weeks later was matched with someone. They offer one on one offerings and also have a private Facebook group for support.
  4. Music Tunes on Zoom- These started to keep my dad company and came to be something I found much comfort in to be able and connect with my dad and our community while not having to discuss what was going on medically. I found some purpose in being able to organize these and also got a dose of music as medicine for my own spirit. This project has continued and can be found at MuzicRX.
  5. Facebook Survivor Corps- With over 140,000 people in this group, it was another place I felt like I was not alone in having a parent sick with COVID. This group provided a resource to better understand symptoms of what others were experiencing while fighting this virus. Survivor Corps is a grassroots movement educating and mobilizing COVID-19 survivors and connecting them with the medical, scientific and academic research community.
The nearby creek I spent a lot of time in reflection and prayer.
The journey was a long haul, and thankfully he’s been home and returns to health with every day that passes.

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Sarah E. Weisfeld

Sarah E. Weisfeld

Wellness for people and our planet, rooted in community.

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