A man is asking members of the public to send his grandma letters to keep her going after her husband died, meaning she now has to isolate completely alone.
Isolation is tough on everyone over 70, or in vulnerable groups, but for Zac France’s grandmother Sheila, she is also dealing with grief – and she has to do it without any physical interaction with her loved ones.
Shiela’s husband, Reginald Stanley, sadly passed away very recently. Even worse, because of the growth of the coronavirus in the UK, his funeral has had to be cancelled, and Shiela and her daughter (Zac’s mum) were even told that they can’t attend the cremation.
Sheila, who lives in Cheltenham, has been unable to say a proper goodbye to the love of her life, and now she is facing weeks of isolation completely alone.
So Zac, who lives in China at the moment, sent out a tweet asking people to send his grandma letters and messages of support. He hopes that if she is inundated with kind, positive messages, then she will know that she is not alone and it will give her hope.
So my gdads funeral has been cancelled and mum & gma told they can’t attend the cremation now also. Grandma is in isolation by herself after losing her husband with nobody. Was wondering if anyone would be willing to send her letters so she knows she’s not alone? Pls retweet
‘My grandma and grandad were together forever. It was their anniversary today,’ Zac said.
‘My mum is in bits because she has really had asthma and can’t see her boyfriend as he’s working where people with the virus are being kept. My grandma has lupus and is at risk because of her age, so she can’t see anyone.’
Zac feels helpless being overseas at this difficult time, but wants to do everything he can to help his grandma get through the next few weeks, and not succumb to the loneliness.
His tweet has attracted much of a following yet, but he is really hoping to spread the word and get as many people to send her letters as possible.
‘Obviously she is very isolated and they are trying to find a way to attend my grandad’s cremation but so far the crematory keep saying no to them attending,’ Zac explains.
‘So she won’t get a final goodbye. I’m just trying to get people to send her some cards to show her that she’s not alone right now and that she has something to look forward to.
‘She is going to be alone for a long time now, after literally just losing her husband.’
Living in China, Zac has experienced first-hand just how hard it is to live through lockdown and long-term isolation. Writing on his blog, he says people in the UK need to take this virus much more seriously.
‘It’s killing me that people aren’t taking the virus seriously,’ he writes. ‘If people had. Maybe my grandma would be able to say goodbye to her husband, my grandad.
‘The lockdown [China] implemented worked. People need to realise this isn’t a small thing.
‘Having been in isolation three months I really hope people start paying attention to the advice. Even with the measures in place China are getting new cases. Although a few of these are coming from abroad.’
Zac is asking that anyone who wants to send Shiela a letter or a card send him a direct message on Twitter – and he will be able to provide the postal address privately.
He really hopes these letters will provide a small ray of hope for his grandma in an incredibly dark time.