I have been struggling with how to write these words, but another beautiful life has been unfairly taken by COVID-19.
Her name was Terese. I don’t remember when I first met her, because I have known her for forever. I grew up with her in my church community. We did all the same activities together: Greek dance, church socials, youth groups, etc.
She was also the cousin of my Koumbara. In the Greek Orthodox tradition, the people who baptize your child, or are the Best Man or Maid/Matron of Honor at your wedding are called “Koumbari”, and they become like your family. “Koumbaro” (koom-BAH-roh) is the term used for a man, “Koumbara” (koum-BAH-rah) is the feminine, and “Koumbari” (koum-BAH-ree) is plural. My Koumbara did both, and she and her cousin Terese got to grow up together and were incredibly close, much like myself and my own cousin. I can only imagine the level of loss for my Koumbara and the entire family.
For the past month as Terese battled in the hospital on the respirator, I and so many others prayed endlessly, regularly checking for positive updates. At one point there seemed to be a glimmer of hope. But then there was a secondary infection. She just didn’t have the ability to physically fight anymore.
Terese, like all the other victims of this heartless disease, leaves behind grieving family, friends, coworkers. Because of this pandemic, most of us will not be able to come together to lay her to rest and rejoice in her life. Though we all know we don’t get to stay here forever, she was still stolen from this world far too soon.
In Greek when someone passes, we say “αιώνια η μνήμη” (ay-OH-nee-ah ee MNEE-mee) which means “memory eternal”, a reminder that as long as we remember someone, they will always be with us. Memory eternal, Terese. You will be missed.