Call Your Separated Loved Ones Every Day As if it’s Their Last, Even if You Are Estranged

You may not get another chance.

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The best thing I have done in years was posting the following article to Medium:

My mom lives in Florida; I live in California. Especially now, during the era of Covid-19, I can’t see her.

The thought horrifies me today when I consider why.

But my mother was so touched by this article, that I wrote last year, that she asked me to copy the pages in color so she could frame them.

Done. And it was such a pleasure to let my mom know how much she has meant to me all my life while she was still healthy enough to appreciate it.

Thankfully, she’s just as healthy now, only confined like the rest of us. My dad passed away nearly a decade ago, and my mom now lives with her cat. But she has friends, and for that I’m happy.

My mom gave birth to three boys. One of my brothers lives 30 minutes from me. The other lives in New Jersey.

We’re all close, so what do we do?

Four-way Facebook video calls, once a day. Sometimes with the wives and my brothers’ kids as well (my wife and I have only a four-legged hairy daughter, a boxer-pit named KOKO if she counts). But the thing is we are in contact, once a day, like clockwork.

And neither my mother nor my brothers feel alone. Family is always here.

Here’s what else matters, personally.

  • A lifelong close friend of one of my brothers is presently in the hospital with double pneumonia as a result of Covid-19.
  • I spoke to a lifelong friend of my own today; his father was just rushed to the hospital with a likely case of Covid-19.
  • An old friend of mine, who dropped out of sight for a few weeks, let me know today she is recovering from Covid-19.
  • Another old friend is also recovering from Covid-19.
  • Still another just lost a family member to Covid-19.
  • Yet another is dealing with being unable to see his niece and her young daughter, both of whom are in the midst of Covid-19.

And so on. This scourge is hitting close to home.

When I log onto my social media accounts, forget it. Online friends mourning their families …

We’re living in hell right now. Something happens to a loved one, we will likely not be able to say goodbye. At least not in person.

We’re living in hell.

But only for as long as we continue to allow it.

Each and every person here needs to self-isolate if they haven’t already, of course. And then they should pick up their phone, and call, FaceTime, Zoom conference, Facebook call … whatever it takes.

Get your loved ones on the phone. Today. NOW.

Don’t “think about it.”

Even if you are estranged. Reach out.

Please, this illness is insidious. We are not guaranteed a “tomorrow,” and indeed, due to the early lack of testing the true death toll is likely far past the official numbers.

I can’t mince words, here.

Reach out, or you may live to regret it.

That would be the greatest hurt of all.

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Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.

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