"Saying Goodbye" breaks taboo and helps in toughest moments of the Coronavirus

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With the pandemic, initiatives have emerged to help people living in confinement. Yet, few have addressed the needs of the sick, their doctors and relatives.  

That's why “despidiéndonos” (or “saying goodbye” in English) was created.

This website proposes various ways, in person and online, to accompany the sick and help people find alternative ways to be with a family member isolated in hospital.  

“The patient who is infected with Covid-19 in isolation does not want family members to go see him because he is afraid, they could get infected.”
“The family members don´t care about the virus. They want to be close. They need to find other ways of being nearby. I believe this pandemic is reminding us about the force of love. Love has this capacity to make us feel close.”

The website “Despidiéndonos.com” focuses on the spiritual dimension of people. It offers prayers, texts and resources for family members, the patient and their doctors.

“We believe people have the right to know they will die. It is important to tell this to them, just in case he or she has something to say, or wants to have a sense of closure in their life, say thanks, forgive. We offer the person the possibility of meeting with a priest, a rabbi, a pastor according to his religion, or send a message to someone in the family.”

According to Inés Ordóñez, founder of the “Santa María Spirituality Center,” the pandemic has helped shatter the fear of talking about death. This is an issue they know how to discuss. Spiritual accompaniment is something this institution knows how to do very well. 

They have 800 full-time volunteers in Buenos Aires, but they are also sowing hope in countries like the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay.

'The pandemic does not have the last word. There is hope, there is learning.'
“We can choose how to live. We must be courageous. It won't beat us. This pandemic does not have the last word, love has the last word.”

Inés Ordóñez also thinks that, just as this pandemic has helped many people prepare to die, it will help many more people to learn to live life to the fullest.

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