THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley



So many thoughts in the last 36 hours. So many plans changed. So much pain inflicted because these are far from normal times and normal activities aren’t permitted. Not being able to be with a loved one in their last weeks and moments might be one of the more difficult ones. And the thought of them alone without family is unbearable. But they are not alone. There is usually a team of medical people around them. No not their family but people with feelings and compassion and an amazing ability to be there for those in need in a hospital.

Just like when the medical training they received kicks in during emergency situations I believe their human abilities are also called into action and this is the special blessing all these nurses and doctors and staff and administration have. A strong level of compassion that makes a person passing at ease. We met a few of these nurses Thursday night. We had never met before but they were very comforting to us and by their account, they were comforting to her. And I looked into their eyes and I believe that in my heart that was true and was thankful for them.

This scene is being thrust upon these medical people and it’s not like their job wasn’t difficult before this. So thank you to the staff at St Agnes Hospital last evening.

RIP Mom and Dad, say hello to my parents please. Photo by Mike Hartley

But back to the process of grieving. There is no process. Those normal support systems and rituals are changed. And there isn’t much that can be done in certain situations. And it has to be accepted as hard as it is for families. I don’t know what would be equal to this kind of thing.

I’ve done a little reading about this because it’s impossible to avoid the hundreds of thousands of people dying without being able to be with family. You see news stories on it and a lot of people are experiencing it. Even the people without the virus who are sick and passing are affected as it was for us.

Early on in the pandemic with a lot of older people passing I was intrigued by how close long-term couples would pass so close together. Even before the virus, this seemed to occasionally hit the news. I saw the terms like the widowhood effect or broken heart syndrome used. I believe I witnessed this in the last few months. Despite a valiant effort by the family, I think her heart just wanted to be with her husband who preceded her. And after a few months, I guess they couldn’t stand to be apart any longer after over 6 decades together.

It’s going to be a very different holiday season this year. Every family experiences loss and all are faced with these tough times. This year they have been very different and added a level of stress and pain that was avoided in previous years. And again people are going to face it more alone and isolated time from each other when the opposite is the norm for this coming holiday.

So keep holding on, support each other any way possible, find the pictures with their smiles and put them in your heart.

Random Thoughts of the Morning

  • Letting my fingers do my talking makes more time for listening. But I do enjoy talking also as my friends and family can attest to.
  • I could get a lot more done if my back would cooperate.
  • Good art is good art no matter what medium. And good art comes from the pleasure of the eye of the creator and beholder.
  • I should get my behind outside and take some fog pictures this morning because we are socked in.
  • If I don’t start working on proper posture, I won’t have any left to mold.
  • I’m blessed with some really good friends.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts

  1. I am so sorry for your family’s loss, Mike. Keep looking into your granddaughter’s eyes and telling her about your in-laws and your parents.

    (totally unrelated note: Article in The Baltimore Sun/Howard section about Sal’s & Andy’s barbershops merging and reopening in Andy’s.)

    • Thank you very much Kathy. You were doing some senior caregiving also weren’t you. And yes my barber told me of the move last month. Ironically it was the first haircut I got in about 9 months. He didn’t recognize me when I walked in.

      • Yes, I am doing senior caregiving as well – my in-laws have avoided the hospital during the pandemic, my parents each had a short, uneventful stay. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

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