Trudy, 88, who tragically lost her brother to Coronavirus in June, talks about the loneliness of lockdown and the joy of a phone call from someone who cares.
It’s been a horrible time. My brother died from the virus – he was 93 - and I couldn’t go to his funeral. My family sent me a photo of all the flowers, but I just feel really sad that I couldn’t be there.
My daughter phones every night, but she’s up in Yorkshire so it’s far for her to come and visit.
Maybe if I had people around me I’d feel different, but I’m frightened to go out now. It’s a dangerous world out there. Then again, sitting inside all these weeks… sometimes I wonder if I should just go out and take my chances.
I’m always cleaning the house these days to keep busy. Some of the women I know say they just sleep all the time and that can’t be good for you.
My introduction to Re-engage
I started going to Re-engage tea parties after my husband died two years ago. He was my childhood sweetheart so it was very difficult. I’d been really going into my shell, so it helped to be around people again. Everyone was so good to me. If it wasn’t for the group, I don’t know what I would’ve done.
We went to some lovely places. And every few months, we’d have a tea dance, like we had in the old days. Everyone would get up and have a dance, even Edna. She finds it hard to move usually, but even she’d have a go.
The loneliness of the lockdown
I find staying in all the time very hard. I got in touch with the doctor to ask if I could go out and he said I mustn’t. I ask all the time, but the advice doesn’t change really. They don’t seem to tell the old folk much. It’s like they forgot about us.
I’ve still got my husband’s ashes. I keep them in the living room next to some white lilies, which were his favourite. Sometimes I see him here in the house. Is that mad? I’ll be having breakfast and I’ll look over and see him in his armchair, pulling his socks on. I guess some people say the ones you love never leave you.
I think about what he would say about all this. He’d probably cope with it better than me.
The joy of a friendly phone call
Luckily, I get lots of calls from my tea party group. We have a conference call once a month which is like going out on Sundays again. You get to have a real chat with real people.
I also get a weekly call from my call companion, Tony. It’s been a real blessing having Tony call me every week. The thing I like most is that he always calls when he says he will. I really like that.
It always makes me feel better to know someone other than my daughter is thinking of me and cares enough to call.
There are some really good people out there.
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