People across the U.S. are honoring loved ones who have passed from COVID-19 as part of a National Week of Mourning.
Kristin Urquiza’s father, Mark, passed away from COVID-19 on June 30 in Arizona. She said in his obituary that "his death is due to the carelessness of the politicians who continue to jeopardize the health of brown bodies."
Urquiza says her dad was one of her best friends and very generous guy. She’s speaking our with hopes of saving other people of color from the disease.
“Seeing those disparities play out in my hometown, in my home neighborhood, and then having my dad go through this awful fight for his life and not be able to make it, I knew that I needed to speak my truth,” said Urquiza.
Fiana Tulip's mother, Isabelle, was a respiratory therapist for 30 years. She was a year from retirement. Tulip says her mom continued to go into work even though she didn't have enough personal protective equipment and knew she was putting her life at risk. She passed away from COVID-19 on July 4 in Texas.
Tulip says her mom was a “giant in her kindness,” as well as loving, giving, strong and resilient.
“My mom was so brave, and I want her to be remembered as somebody who was thoughtful and who was generous and who was a hero, somebody who gave her life to save others,” said Tulip.
She says in her mom's obituary "her undeserving death is due to the carelessness of politicians who undervalue health care workers."
Mark and Isabelle are just two of the more than 210,000 lives lost to COVID-19 in the U.S.
Tulip says if the country keeps ignoring the fact that people are dying, we’re going to have pretty traumatic effects later on.
“So, it's important to feel and to share the warmth and to spread the love right now,” she said.
“We are putting a stake in the ground to say we need to recognize, and recognition begins with collective mourning. It gives us permission to mourn out loud,” said Urquiza.
Virtual vigils are happening at 12 p.m. ET through Sunday. You can find a link to attend at WeekOfMourning.com.