Grieving while in quarantine: 'I have never felt this loneliness in my life'

Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 22:01:03-04

Social distancing and being in quarantine stem the spread of COVID-19, but they can make grief an even greater burden to bear.

"I have never felt this loneliness in my life, never," said Darlene Thoresen, who is recently widowed.

Darlene opens up about the isolation she feels in quarantine.

Eric, her husband of 37 years, recently passed away. Darlene says it happened after a typical dinner at home.

Eric went to a room to watch television when Darlene heard him call for help.

"I went in the room, and he was gasping for air holding his throat, and he said to me I am going to die," Darlene recalled.

Darlene called 911. Medics showed up in protective gear and worked tirelessly to try and revive Eric.

"It was really an awful, awful night," said Darlene.

While Eric had other health conditions, he also showed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 before his death, prompting a post mortem test.

Darlene started quarantine.

Days later, a doctor told her the result was negative but non-conclusive.

"He said that because they really didn't test him within the six hours that they couldn't be sure," said Darlene.

A local medical examiner says there is no specific guideline on the number of hours after death that the COVID-19 test becomes unreliable.

As a precaution, Darlene remains quarantined. She admits it has been hard since for someone who is social but also in mourning.

"You never realize the power of human touch or human hug. It's vital to our well-being," said Darlene.

"I hope that after this is done that we as a nation as a people be kinder to one another."

Like many families, Darlene is unable to hold a funeral for her husband. She is planning to hold a graveside service once it is safe.

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