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Losing Mummy And Daddy To COVID-19

Written By: Bronagh O'Connell

Ignatius O’Connell, 89, and his wife, Mary, 86, died with coronavirus at their north Belfast home in April, within three days of each other. The retired teachers were due to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this summer.

They were very family orientated and absolutely devoted to each other. I described them as “two peas in a pod”.

It’s very hard to see your wee mummy and daddy have what you thought was a chest infection, and then suddenly watch them not be able to breathe. When daddy died, we hoped that mummy would pull through; we didn’t think that she would die too, but she got very sick very quickly. It was horrific.

I have to take just a wee bit of a day and if I get to lunchtime it's good, if I get to teatime it's better and when it gets to bedtime I know we've made it through another day. The future is going to be very difficult without mummy and daddy.

I appreciate that people are tired of the restrictions but I’d encourage people to do what they can, as the alternative is much worse. People should self isolate, they should stay indoors, I know it’s driving them bonkers, but they’re alive. You don’t want to walk where we’re walking, it’s horrid.

Daddy and mummy were laid to rest together in Carrigart, Donegal. Only me and my son were at the funeral as my sister was unwell and couldn’t attend. Not being able to have a wake, not being able to have your friends and family when you need them so much, is so hard. I have to just deal with each day as it happens, because mummy and daddy aren’t here anymore.

Written By: Bronagh O'Connell