Alexandra's Notebook

In the time of Estrangement

Covid didn’t just kill millions world wide and put us all in lockdown at various times in those first couple of years of struggles, it all but destroyed people’s relationships and sanity in so many ways. I know two dear friends of mine who I helped introduce never survived living together in tight quarters, each unable to escape the other when things got really bad. While a couple of other friends said they grew closer together from everything they went through, and, as nurses, they went through a lot.

For me and mine, things quietly went on mostly as they always had, like a comfortable pair of socks, we just fit together. We adapted and changed a few things but, as homebodies and relative dormice, we didn’t miss the going out, we had what we needed. And what we didn’t have, we ordered in where possible. And if we couldn’t, we made do. I can’t say it was perfect and we weren’t obsessively cleaning everything, or terrified like everyone else on the planet. But we somehow managed bolstering one another were we could.

The one thing that those couple of terrible years cemented and brought home to me was the fact I was—even before the start of the Covid era— fully estranged from people who were once my family. People who I once thought I knew but, in the end, really didn’t know any more than any one of them knew me. Or even cared to know the real me.

It’s one of life’s greatest sadnesses that these people are no longer in my life and, from all accounts, have no interest in being in my life. That’s fine, that is, to a certain extent, their choice. But that some of those people also chose to poison others who might have kept in touch, is what still hurts.

I’m bringing this up now as a number of seminal anniversaries have just passed and where, at one time in my life I would have flown home to join in the parties and or sent cards and gifts. Now, there’s just an awareness that these people are my past, no longer to be in my life, and certainly never to be in my future.

It’s been a long while for me, accepting that I don’t know whether any of them are even still alive or, even care to know whether me and my partner are. I guess I might never know.

That sadness I once felt in my heart has slowly eased and that, after all, is what matters. I can no longer mourn the loss of something I probably never had to begin with, their love, or even, their respect.