Grief, loss, and silver linings Stories of tragedy and discovery during the coronavirus pandemic

Illustrated by Ashley DeLeon
Deputy Editor

Six months ago, worldwide depression had struck. People died and goodbyes were distant. Jobs were lost and financial securities went scarce. People living alone experienced the true feeling of loneliness. Nonetheless, there are silver linings embedded within tragedy. This first feature of The Defender’s new illustrated news series highlights stories of grief, loss, and silver linings uncovered by sophomores and juniors.

Ben Soulard ‘23– I count myself lucky that the people I care about have remained in good health. It can be tough to think of a silver lining during COVID, but there are some. I grew more in touch with myself. As much as I missed my people at Saint Mike’s, it made me value the time that I had spent with them so much more. I’m so thankful to be back with the people who I consider family.
Bree Cotroneo ‘23– Tennis plays an important role in my life. COVID-19 bred a loss in my life by taking away my normal tennis season. We’re supposed to have a competitive season in the spring, but this is uncertain, and it surely won’t be the same.
Felicity Rodriguez ‘22– During the pandemic, I transformed into a new person. COVID-19 affected members of my family, and with protests surrounding Black Lives Matter and my difficulties with mental health, I had a hard time. However, the pandemic pushed me to stay home, and I got the opportunity to tend to myself, something I had never done before. Learning to be self-aware, set healthy boundaries, incorporate self-care into my busy schedule, and simply learn about myself was key in my self discovery. Time allowed me to grow and become a person I am proud of.
Oliver Hogan ‘22– My mom has been living in the hospital with my dad while he is being treated for cancer. No one can come in and visit him. I haven’t been able to talk to him for three weeks.
Ly Altine ‘22- During the first three months of the pandemic, I fell into a deep depression. There was a range of emotions actually but all negatively impacting my mental health. The state of the world and the state of black Americans were critical. I felt like there was no way out and everywhere I turned, I was inundated with traumatic new images. Therefore, I took a social media break and was able to focus on my talents. I got into writing and even worked a little on my drawing skills.
Kelechi Onuoha ‘23– The pandemic left me in a state of hopelessness and devastation. I had to let go of toxicities that I depended on. At the same time, I grew as a person. The pandemic allowed me to examine who I really am. I discovered my identities as a Black woman, student, daughter, and friend. I discovered my faith in God. I discovered the kind of people I want to surround myself with. And now, I am on the path to discovering who I want to be.

Alex Tracanna ‘23– I didn’t have a job due to COVID, and I was unable to visit my family and friends. While quarantining, I was able to renovate my bedroom, clean out the basement, and work on my car. My room has been the same forever. Renovating was refreshing and made me happy.