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To fully understand the loss of so many lives in COVID-19, it helps see faces, learn the names of the dead, and hear some of the loved ones they have left behind. Some of the women widowed with the virus find comfort in each other.

Rebecca Reilly said her husband, Michael, “was so full of life” and always smiling. He was his best friend.

“I miss him so much,” she said.

The couple have two children, Leah and Michael.

Rebecca Reilly pictured with her husband, Michael, and their children Leah and Michael.


“Leah is the light of her life,” said Reilly. And Michael is a spitting image of him. It’s Mike reincarnated, that’s for sure. ”

Michael Reilly died of COVID-19 at age 47, just hours after a FaceTime call with his wife and children.

“I pushed the kids in front of the screen so they could say, ‘I love you, daddy.’ And he kept saying, “It’s okay. I’ll see you soon. It’s okay. I love you.” It’s the last thing he said, ”Reilly said.

Reilly’s husband died two weeks before Christmas.

“The pain is indescribable,” she said. “Looks like you’re literally punched in the stomach.”

It’s a pain that she shares with Pamela Addison and her children, Elsie and Graeme.

Widows support each other after losing husbands to coronavirus
Pamela Addison, her husband, Martin, and their two children Elsie and Graeme.


“Elsie will look at the sky and say, ‘Daddy is in the sky. I can’t reach him because he’s in Heaven. But it’s in my heart, ”Addison said.

Their father, Martin, lost his battle with the virus in April. He was 44 years old.

Addison received a card from a stranger after her husband died. “You are not alone,” the card said. So Addison started a Facebook group for young widows, who could support each other despite the pain. The group now has 400 people and meets twice a week on Zoom.

“Without this group, I wouldn’t be okay,” said Reilly.

Addison added, “Our kids are going to have friends who will understand what they’ve been through.”


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