This past year has been a time of profound growth, rebirth, change and transformation. That has certainly been true for journalist and activist Desiree Cooper, who has been in the midst of her own profound transformation over the last year as a journalist, caregiver and daughter.
“I think I’ve been disabused of so many expectations, not just over the last year, but I’ve been caregiving for the last five years. So it’s been a slow letting go of ‘it wasn’t supposed to be this way.’” — Desiree Cooper, journalist and caregiver
Cooper has been a full-time caregiver for her aging parents for five years. All of them have been challenging. But this past year has been especially difficult. The added weight of a pandemic has been further compounded by the loss of her father last fall.
Listen: Journalist Desiree Cooper talks about caregiving, grief and finding strength during the pandemic.
Desiree Cooper is a journalist, activist and full-time caregiver for her mother.
“I think I’ve been disabused of so many expectations, not just over the last year, but I’ve been caregiving for the last five years. So it’s been a slow letting go of ‘it wasn’t supposed to be this way,’” says Cooper.
She says losing her father was especially hard during the pandemic, which made it much more difficult to grieve in a normal way.
“Because of COVID, we couldn’t get a spot with the funeral home very quickly. It took us months to get a death certificate,” says Cooper. “And so COVID has completely upended how we mark our life transitions, not just deaths, but also the happy moments.”
Cooper says she has found strength and hope in a new-found appreciation for the little moments in life.