I’m in a high state of anxiety about my 97-year old mother, who is in a nursing home in Dallas, Texas, thousands of miles from me (I live in Toronto). My sister, who lives in Dallas, was a daily visitor until the COVID-19 precautions were put in place, and I have been making regular trips to Dallas for many years now. (I had to cancel the flights I had booked for this month’s visit.) In this new world we’re in, my sister and I are completely cut off from our mother except for telephone calls (on which she can’t hear us) during which she expresses her astonishment at the scale of this crisis and her fear that she’ll never see us again before she dies. It’s heartbreaking. I find myself crying all the time - I can’t stop thinking of her. I try to meditate, do mindfulness exercises, focus on my work, etc, but I’m still crying.
Hi Brooklyn 56, thank you for openly sharing this difficult situation you and your sister are in; it is heartbreaking. It is certainly normal to cry and feel worried about your mother and it can be stressful not to be able to visit her in the nursing home during this time. You may want to explore alternative safe ways to stay connected if she cannot hear you on the phone (e.g., some hospitals offer the “email-a-patient” service, where you can submit a message online and the staff will deliver it to patients the next day).
I am glad you are trying different strategies to help you cope, that shows a lot of strength and determination on your end. It can be helpful to reach out to loved ones for support, and if you feel like you still are not coping well, you may need extra support from your family doctor or other health professional.
You can also visit www.camh.ca/covid19 for more resources, which I hope are helpful to you.