“My husband Leon was a 100% disabled veteran. After I had an accident in January of 2019, I wasn’t able to take care of him myself anymore, so he went into a nursing home.

“He was in the closest one to me, but that was still about 35 miles away. For a year, I fought to get him care for his cancer. They wasted time in the beginning and, by then, it was too bad to have removed easily so he needed radiation at the beginning of this year.

“He got sick from the treatments and became nonverbal, but I was still going to see him every day or every other day. I had to get somebody to drive me the 35 miles to get there, but I visited all the time. I would shave him, trim his nails. His face was always dirty, I’d get a cloth and wipe his face and encourage him to eat when his eating slowed down.

“Two months ago, they told me I couldn’t come anymore because of COVID. That was heartbreaking. So, first, he missed my birthday which was – well, I’d had enough birthdays, I didn’t celebrate it – but it was the fact that he wasn’t with me. I couldn’t even take cupcakes to him like I did last year for his birthday. Then, our anniversary was April 20. The last one we’ll ever have. We were married for 41 years. I’ve taken care of him that whole time and fought to keep him healthy.

“We had been able to FaceTime a few times. He wasn’t talking so I could really just see he was still alive. Then, I couldn’t talk to him or see him for what turned out to be the last 10 days of his life.

“They kept telling me ‘he’s doing fine, he’s just resting right now.’ They gave me no indication at all he was that sick, but I’d been with the man for almost 45 years, so I knew something was wrong. From our anniversary on, I just had a need to see him and touch him, and they wouldn’t let me.

“The day before he died, I finally called and said ‘look, I want to see him. If you’re not going to do it, I’m going to do a B&E.’ They said they would get back with me the next day. They did, and told me I could come, so my son and daughter-in-law brought me over there as quickly as they could.

“By the time they got done taking my temperature and finding out if I’d traveled, a nurse came running in and says, ‘you’d better come quick.’ They ran me down to his room, but I was too late. He passed away around 5 minutes before I got there.

“Aside from the grocery store once and the bank once, I haven’t been out of the house at all. Everything is closed, you can’t do anything. I’m losing my mind. It’s a chore just to get out of bed every morning. [Gov. Whitmer] won’t let us go to church, so I can’t get any comfort that way, even though my pastor calls to check on me.

“Really, I just need a hug, but everyone has to be 6 feet away.”

Linda Vigder
Wolverine, Michigan