‘We like to believe she is in Heaven’: Man says goodbye to grandmother who died from COVID-19


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man was forced to say his final goodbye to his grandmother over the phone as she passed away from COVID-19 while isolated in the hospital.

Rondell Trevino says it only took three days for his 74-year-old grandmother, Josephine Lewis, to get sick and then be admitted into the hospital. She tested positive for COVID-19.

“They said she slept in longer than usual. She was coughing, feeling weak,” Trevino said. “And then her symptoms became worse.”

Trevino just moved from Memphis to Texas to be closer with family. He hoped to spend more time with his grandmother, the loving and compassionate woman he admired so much.

“She would always make sure she was in connection with me. She would say I love you. That’s in Spanish,” Trevino said.

Thursday, his grandmother took a turn for the worse.

 “She said that she was on 100% oxygen. They couldn’t do anymore. They had to pull the plug basically,” Trevino said.

Thursday night, Trevino’s family found out they would have to say their goodbyes on the phone, because his grandmother remained isolated.

“Somehow, we had 50 people on the phone going and taking turns saying goodbye. She can’t talk back,” Trevino said. “You can just hear the machines working. To hear my dad and to hear her sons having to cry and say you know. I hate that I have to say goodbye like this, but I love you, I’m going to miss you.”

She passed away at 8:55 PM.

“It hit us hard. You could just hear all the family in the background crying on the phone,” Trevino said. “It’s just devastating. It was probably the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do as a family.”

Trevino says the rest of his family is now quarantined. He can’t even be with them right now to grieve.

“What do we do now? Like, she goes to the funeral home, and she can’t have a funeral, so they are going to cremate her. Then they’ll send us her ashes. That’s it,” Trevino said.

He hopes no one else has to face this pain.

“My grandmother has passed over. We like to believe she is in heaven, pain-free, COVID free,” Trevino said. “One day, we will see her, and I know that’s a message she would want to get out to folks to take this pandemic seriously.”

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