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  • Writer's pictureJodi Laughlin

I am still here, behind the mask.

There is no denying it… COVID-19 has affected us all. In many ways, even as we social distance and stay home, it has brought people together emotionally. We are all in the same fight. However, for many, this is one problem on top of another and they may feel this is what could break them. COVID has added insult to injury.

Isolating and social distancing has brought back many of the same emotions I had right after the death of Noelle.

Feeling alone.

Feeling scared.

Feeling anxious.


The drastic change of life as we knew it.

All of these feelings are to a much less degree than what they were then. Which leaves me to wonder… how are YOU doing?

You who just lost a child. You who just received a fetal diagnosis. You who are still battling cancer. You who are struggling with depression. You who are fighting an eating disorder. You who are grieving the loss of your loved one.

These things don’t just disappear. We cannot forget our neighbor who has been affected by COVID indirectly. Don’t forget those who were already struggling before COVID because likely, those feelings and struggles have been exacerbated

I’ve tried to imagine coping with Noelle’s diagnosis during this pandemic.

Would I have been OK going to appointments by myself? My husband held my hand during almost every scan and if he wasn’t there than my Mom was. I was never alone.

How would I have persevered if I were surrounded by negative energy or doubt? I was so hopeful throughout our pregnancy. I had a great support team and surrounded myself with positive energy.

I’ve tried to imagine Noelle dying during this time. When Noelle died, I didn’t want to see anyone anyway so maybe, in some ways, it would have been easier- I wouldn’t have been expected to go to baby showers and birthdays and holidays. But one of my biggest fears was that people would forget what I had been through, would forget Noelle. And I’m sure that feeling can only be heightened during a pandemic when people naturally are focused on their own health and well being and that of their family.

To all those going through a fetal diagnosis and to all those who have had to say goodbye to their babies during this time, my heart goes out to you. You are not forgotten. Please share your story with us. To all those who are carrying a physical or mental burden, please don't do it alone. We are fortunate to live in a world where the internet and social media are available. Don’t let COVID silence you. Don’t let COVID make you feel less important. Your journey matters.

Find the positivity amongst the chaos- there is hope. There is support.

Don't let COVID mask what matters.

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