One man’s thread is reminding people of the importance of making time for loved ones after his father died from the coronavirus infection. Because of quarantine protocols, he was unable to see his dad in the hospital before he died, and says that his biggest regret was never having the chance to say goodbye.
My dad died two days ago from COVID19. He died alone because the hospital restricted all visitors in order to contain the outbreak. My deepest regret was not saying bye to him when I brought him to the hospital. I thought it was going to be a “Take care, see you back home.” 1/3— Peter John Dario (@peterjohndario) March 21, 2020
Peter John Darion brought his dad to the hospital after he came down with COVID-19 symptoms, assuming he would see him again. Unfortunately, his father did not recover, and now Darion is using his grief to remind people what’s really important in life.
“He used to message me paragraphs on a daily basis,” he wrote. “He would get upset at me for not saying bye to him before I leave for work. Now, I wish I could go back in time to make it all up. I guess what I’m trying to say on here is to cherish every moment with your loved ones.”
Say hi and bye on a daily basis because life is completely fragile. Take photos and selfies whenever you can because I don’t have many current ones of my dad and I. Also, just make time. When you’re always on the go, it may be hard to slow down, but life hits hard fast. 3/3— Peter John Dario (@peterjohndario) March 21, 2020
In general, Dario pleads with people to slow down, take photos, and remember that life is fragile.
After posting the thread on Saturday, Dario’s words blew up on Twitter, reaching over 152,000 retweets and 833,000 likes in two days. At the same time, over 11,000 people have commented, with most offering condolences for his loss as well as thanks for putting such a positive message into the world during a time when we all sorely need it.
He was also kind enough to add a photo of his father and himself looking “hard af,” thanked the public for all their support, and encouraged people to do anything they can to help healthcare workers and others on the front lines.
Thank you for the love and support everyone. I’m not asking for anything, but I urge every single one of you to help the people in the frontlines of all this. Get creative, give back and make someone smile. Peace and love ❤️— Peter John Dario (@peterjohndario) March 22, 2020
Some of the comments are as heart-wrenching as the original thread itself, with some offering similar stories of loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Know that your father loves you, too. Know that he heard the unspoken goodbye. Know that a connection like yours does not starve for words. It thrives on love, even if you don't express it often. Know that your father is proud of you. Please stay strong and continue his legacy.🌼— Ayesha💫 (@RishtayWaliBaji) March 22, 2020
I lost my dad on 17/3 due to COVID19 and he was also all alone. My regret is not being able to visit or talk to him throughout his hospitalization. From one who is healing from this too, i can only encourage u. Be strong and I’m sure he loves you and is proud of you.
— Lavender Cheng (@lavenderchengg) March 22, 2020
@peterjohndario, my dad had one of the first American cases of SARS. We were isolated from him, and I also didn’t get to say goodbye. It haunted me far too long in my life, so as you move forward, live your life in a way that would honor him. Then, you never have to say goodbye.
— James Kicklighter (@jameskick) March 22, 2020
lost my mother recently (not from Coronavirus), idk you at all but I can relate to ur situation. I’m very sorry for ur loss & I don’t want u to feel regret over not saying goodbye. From the pic of you guys I can feel the love❤️ he knows.
— Trinity🌼 (@trinsativa) March 22, 2020
I’m so deeply sorry. I lost my dad suddenly and couldn’t remember If I’d said I love you before he went to bed that night. It really wrecked me for a long time. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter. He knew. So did your dad. He knew. May you find comfort in his memory.
— Drazil (@ewc) March 22, 2020
Perhaps the best comments come from healthcare workers assuring Dario that his father did not die alone.
I promise you he did not die alone. My colleagues in medicine would never let someone die alone. Someone was with him – be it a nurse, a doctor, a respiratory therapist, or an entire team. He was not alone ❤️ I’m so incredibly sorry for your enormous loss.
— maija✨ (@MaijaElizabeth) March 22, 2020
My mother is a (now retired) RN, and it wasn't until she finished working did she share stories of how she would be that person with a lot of patients who had nobody there. I've always respected my mom, but hearing that left me unable to fathom words how much more I respect her.— Streaks 🦨 (@streaksskunk) March 23, 2020
Tell your loved ones how you feel, especially if they’re healthcare workers.