Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Melbourne man V Srikanth had to support his mother in India from afar as she neared the end of her life. This is what he learned.
When I said farewell to my mother in India in January 2020 to go back home overseas, I didn’t know that it would be the last time I’d see her.
I had been with Amma (mother) for the previous four weeks while she underwent knee surgery and was recovering from it. She had been getting much less able and mobile with a very deformed knee and hadn’t been coping well with being forced to slow down.
After I left, COVID emerged, and she and my father went to stay with my sister about five hours away in a semi-rural setting. Indeed for the next six months, she had a much-improved quality of life, able to move around without discomfort. During our conversations on my visit, she had shared that if she suddenly became ill to the point of disability, she wouldn’t want any radical interventions.Advertisement
And so when I got the call from my brother-in-law at 4 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon to let us know she had suffered a serious stroke, my brain snapped into clinical gear fairly quickly.
I was in Australia and she was near Bengaluru, and so began the very strange experience of helping my mother through her illness and to have a good death from afar in the middle of a global pandemic.
I was in Australia and she was near Bengaluru, and so began the very strange experience of helping my mother through her illness and to have a good death from afar.