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Remembering our Parents-Pandemic Assisted Loneliness Death and Life


7 minute read

Someday, we will all lose our parents, grand parents, and friends.

If we are parents, our children will ‘lose’ us when we are called Home.

The great senses of loss we expererience are as different as colours in the world of nature, or our unique set of characteristics.  How we grieve is directly related to our relationships with our family, to the recently deceased and also intimately telling of how we ourselves view the afterlife.  Also, in our present state of (what is deemed to be) pandemic, how often we spent time with and what kind of quality time we spent with our loved one.

It has been said that time heals all wounds, but that adage is only as accurate as our internal grieving.  My father died 7 years ago, and while our family has grieved, we have moved forward to live our lives.

It is interesting what can trigger us to revisit our mourning and cast our minds back to those in our past.  For me, it was Facebook, and a notice that August 25 would have been his 80th birthday.  It just so happens that I had driven by the graveyard he is interred at the same day and while I wanted to stop, I did not.

Later that night when I turned on Facebook, that dreaded notice came up, and the whole experience became more odd.

If he had been alive, there would have been a birthday party, and his great grandchildren would have played around his feet.  His grand children would have sat beside him and talked about their weeks and days, and he would have smiled and listened as he was more wont to in his later years.  His children would have probably popped by for a visit a couple of times this week and as was his custom, sipped coffee from Darth Vader.

But, despite his absence, we still have customs that help us remember.

If there are family pictures on our walls, we look and recall the good times.

If there are family movies, we turn them on and watch/listen to moments captured in time.

Or we call our mom and share a memory and talk about her day, week, and events.

During the course of any family funeral, you get the opportunity to open the book of the life of your loved one and see what they really left behind.  Bills, bank accounts, letters, cards, computer files and email are all laid bare for someone to see.  Boxes that sat in the attic or garage are now opened and sorted and appreciated.

That is when you really get to know your father/mother/grand parents.

But if there are any questions after seeing their stuff and making hard decisions, you cannot ask but relatives become a resource.

My family has been blessed with a wealth of life material from parents and grand parents, so when we sorted and separated, we saw my father as a young boy, from his baby clothes to his glasses and wallet contents.

It was a great experience to be able to share my father’s life with his friends and mothers relatives.  His funeral drew people we had not seen for many years, and it was a time that we did not appreciate until later.

My mothers last memories of my father are sweet.  He had gone outside onto the garden swing and told my mom that he could hardly wait for spring so he could go outside.. By morning he had passed into eternity.

Experiences like that have been verboten since March, and thousands of seniors have died lonely, isolated, and abandoned by family members, all encouraged by public health policy and abusive facility regulations deemed to protect.

There was an experiment I saw recently that had a child under 1 year old interact with his mother actively, then being told to ignore the child.  That child reacted negatively with anger, frustration and screaming until the mother re-engaged with the child.  It only took 2 minutes for decreased contact and lack of encouragement to recoil and act out.  Imagine months of toddlers and pre-schoolers being told that they cannot play with their friends, or socially active individuals to be allowed interaction?

This video was very enlightening, and gave this treatment a name….Child abuse….Elder abuse….

Since Covid19 was deemed a pandemic, citizens of the world have been shut out, shut up and shut down world-wide.   What was once normal is no longer so, and instead of a desire to be social beings we are told to be fearful of everyone because they may carry the virus that might kill Aunt Sadie.  The truly sad comment is that this campaign of callousness has been so severe that some people will never recover and re-engage public lives again.

It seems that intelligence, logic, and good statistics are now also forbidden when discussing Covid numbers and penetration.  Passion and fear have overwhelmed facts, and in the process, people lose and policy is imposed with questionable ethics.

Lonely is safer (and recommended) than social gatherings with positive relationship outcomes.

In fact, as some have pointed out, Nazi Germany under Hitler practised the same tactics to near global domination.  In some ways, I do not think that comparison is not far off.

Back to my point, by trying to protect the vulnerable among us we have sentenced them to death by isolation.  Our medical officials and government officials are guilty of something so dreadful it should not be said.

My father, like so many who died before this disease hit us, would not recognize our world of fear and paranoia.  In some ways, neither do I.

May God have mercy on our souls.

Tim Lasiuta

Originally published August 29, 2020

Tim Lasiuta is a Red Deer writer, entrepreneur and communicator. He has interests in history and the future for our country.

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Legendary Edmonton locker-room attendant Joey Moss dies at 57

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EDMONTON — Joey Moss — a legendary locker-room attendant for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and CFL’s Edmonton Football Team — has died. He was 57.

The Edmonton Football Team confirmed the death on Monday by saying the city has lost a “hero.” No cause of death was given.

Moss was born in 1963 with Down Syndrome, the 12th of 13 children to Lloyd and Sophie Moss.

He became the Oilers’ locker-room attendant in 1984-85 when superstar Wayne Gretzky was dating his older sister, Vikki. Moss joined the Edmonton Football Team in 1986 and held roles with both organizations for over 30 years.

“Janet and I are profoundly saddened to learn about the passing of Joey Moss. Not only was Joey a fixture in the Edmonton dressing room, he was someone I truly considered a friend — a friendship that spanned over 35 years,” Wayne Gretzky said in a message posted to the Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery Facebook account.

“Joey was not only the spirit of our team, but of our community too. We will miss you Joey and you will always live on through all the memories you have given so many people. Our thoughts are with all of Joey’s loved ones.

“Joey, once an Oiler, always an Oiler — you will always be one.”

Moss worked with the CFL club from the opening of training camp in June until mid-August, at which time he headed over to the Oilers locker-room for the NHL season — capturing the hearts of Edmonton sports fans along the way, particularly with his enthusiastic participation in the national anthem before the start of every hockey game.

Moss helped the training staff with such tasks as filling water bottles and equipment duties, but became more than an attendant over the years by providing inspiration to everyone in the locker-room.

Moss was awarded the NHL Alumni Association’s “Seventh Man Award” in 2003, for those “whose behind-the-scenes efforts make a difference in the lives of others.”

In October 2008, Moss was honoured with a mural in Edmonton for his service with both clubs. In 2012, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal honouring significant contributions and achievements by Canadians, and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

“The entire Edmonton Football Team organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Joey Moss,” the club said in a release.

“Edmonton lost a hero today. Joey’s bravery, humor, strength, work ethic and perseverance in our dressing room and in our community left indelible impressions that will live with us all. More than that, Joey endeared himself to everyone in our province, our country and beyond, no matter who they were. He was a symbol of what true teamwork is comprised of and we are all better for having known him. He touched us all.”

Moss also inspired the Joey Moss Cup, an annual tournament held at the end of every Oilers’ training camp.

“Heartbreaking to hear about Joey Moss passing away. He is the soul of the (Oilers),” former Oilers captain Andrew Ference said on Twitter.

“I’ll remember him singing the anthem w/pride, getting fired up about wrestling and always asking if I combed my hair with a pork chop. Broken heart. My deepest condolences to the Moss family.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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A conversation about Dignity in a Pandemic: Podcast

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October 21, 2020

Edmonton-AB-On Global Dignity Day, the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights launches a larger conversation about dignity in collaboration with the community in a new podcast titled, Dignity In a Pandemic.

The podcast theme is ‘no one left behind’. The discussions explore what dignity looks like for vulnerable members in our community and how it has been affected by the pandemic. Our team began gathering stories in March when the pandemic began to take hold of the world. Our first episode features Shima Aisha Robinson, a poet, community organizer, and activist. We talk about Camp Pekiwewin, which is led by Indigenous 2 Spirit women working in solidarity with Black and 2SLGBTQ communities.

Renee Vaugeois, Executive Director of John Humphrey Centre of Peace and Human Rights, adds, “I’m excited for others to hear the new podcast. The episodes uplift local voices with lived experience and name injustices we see during Covid-19 for a call to action. These are real people with tough realities, who imagine futures where human rights are upheld.”

#YEGdignity was first created by members of our Youth Action Project in 2015 where art was used to challenge perceptions of poverty. The campaign launched that year with the public painting of four murals looking at dignity and poverty. Five years later, the project has expanded to include a podcast to give voice to the vulnerable.

Each week over the next three months, JHC will share new episodes told with diverse Edmontonians. This effort is part of JHC’s commitment to building a Human Rights City, where all participate, belong and are included.

Click here to listen to the first in the series of podcasts.

The ​John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights works to advance a culture of peace and human rights through education and community building guided by the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Read more on Todayville.


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