FITCHBURG (CBS) – The emptiness of Father’s Day – overwhelming for those without their dads; and especially gut wrenching this year, for grieving families whose fathers were taken by Covid-19.
“He was everything. Everything that a good dad should be, he was,” said Katie McGuirk Schultz of Fitchburg. “We couldn’t be there when he passed. We couldn’t hold his hand. I struggle with that today.”READ MORE: 'Just Part Of What We Do': Manchester, NH Fire Captain Burned During Rescue Released After Weeks In Hospital
Mike McGuirk had been living in an Alzheimer’s care facility when he passed in April. There were no visits allowed then, though his family had been missing the real Mike much longer.
“It was probably a few years ago when he stopped remembering who we were to him but his heart always knew who we were,” his daughter recalled.READ MORE: Patriots Proving The What-Ifs To Be True And Other Leftover Thoughts From Titans Blowout
Now the McGuirks’ hearts have found comfort and peace, in a garden at the Wellesley facility that so compassionately cared for their dad. Each stone is for a treasured life lost this year.
“These people in these homes, they’re people too. They mean something to someone. They’re not just a number. You could feel when you went in (to the Newton-Wellesley Center for Alzheimer’s Care), the love they had for their patients,” she said.
After years of watching parts of him fade away, Mike is Mike again. They feel him with their family, and know everything makes sense.MORE NEWS: Brady McCue, Man Charged With Brutal Sex Assault In Middlesex Fells, Ordered To Undergo Mental Health Evaluation
“I like to think that now he remembers all of it,” Katie said. “That’s what helps us get through is knowing now, he remembers everything.”