Northern NM family copes with losing multiple loved ones to COVID-19

[anvplayer video=”5013152″ station=”998127″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Shawna Simpson and Rebecca Tully are two of thousands of New Mexicans who lost people they love to COVID-19.

“So unfair, like we always wonder, always ask why, why our family,” Simpson said.

The pain of losing someone hit Simpson’s northern New Mexico family multiple times over the last 12 months.

“One by one, it was my uncle was sick, then all of a sudden my grandpa was,” she said.

In May 2020, Simpson had four family members at different hospitals, each one battling the virus.

“It’s just phone calls, waiting for phone calls," she said.

As many decisions had to be made, Simpson’s family had little time to reflect on the magnitude of the situation.

Her grandparents, Nelson and Vicki Bedoni, her mother Cheryl Tully and her uncle Danny Tully all got incredibly sick.

Rebecca Tully remembers the last words she said to her father.

“I asked him, ‘Are you okay, when are you going to come home,” she recalled.

Tully said she tried to see her father one last time, but she didn’t make it in time.

“I told him to wait for me and I only got as far as Twin Arrows, and they told me that he passed away, and I couldn’t see him after that, so I just had to turn around," she said.

Tully and her family would eventually see all 4 family members die, just a few days apart.

“I can’t believe they are all gone, they just got taken from us,” she said “It’s still unbelievable. Every day we are hoping it’s a dream we are going to wake up from and see them all home again.”

Tully said her family was very close, adding they did everything together– in life and even in death.

“My grandma passed first, and 30 minutes went by and grandfather followed," she said.

In their last moments, in the same room, side by side.

Tully said, although it hurts, it was true to who they were.

“As my grandma is walking into heaven or whatever, my grandpa is shuffling behind her. I can see my grandma turning around like ‘what are you doing here?’ cause my grandpa was like that. My grandma would always want to go into town by herself or somewhere by herself and my grandpa would always want to follow her ‘can you just let me go by myself, you always follow me,’” Tully said.

Even though the virus forced them to question their faith, they are still thankful for the time they had with their family.

“I thank God for blessing us with a family like them every day," Simpson said.