Cecily Strong penned an essay about mourning her cousin Owen, who died of brain cancer this year, as well as navigating a new romantic relationship, while in quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m in the middle of my two-week quarantine in my tiny apartment in New York. I’ve cried every day,” she wrote in the piece published by Vulture on Tuesday.
Strong wrote about Owen’s character and how even at his sickest, he never stopped being positive.
“Doctors looking at his final MRI say later that because of the size and position of his tumor, they didn’t know how he was standing and laughing and talking as long as he was,” she wrote.
She then expressed that she was nervous about the man she had just started seeing named Jack, who tested positive for COVID-19, and that she just wanted to be with him while she mourned the loss of Owen.
“I’m scared about Jack. I’m really scared. He has had a bad fever for a week. He didn’t answer his phone yesterday. I text a doctor friend who suggests a police welfare check. I have had anxiety and depression since high school. I take Wellbutrin. I’ve gone to years of therapy. I take Xanax when needed. This is a really bad time for mental health,” she wrote. “Today I decide the anxiety is worse. I’d rather be depressed. I get really low. I wake up Friday and I turn my phone on airplane mode and I start drinking. I think it’s going to fall apart with Jack now.”
She continued, “I’m upset with him for not understanding why I constantly need to know he’s okay. I’m upset with myself for needing to constantly know he’s okay. I’m upset with friends talking about missing their f–king birthdays. What if Jack dies? What if I die? Owen just d—. I can’t say it or write it.”
Strong, 36, expressed how fear has taken over her life while she’s been in isolation.
“I’m so low and I’m so afraid. I’m afraid of the water coming out of my pipes. I’m afraid of outside. And I am so alone. I’ve never felt so alone,” she said.
The comedian had mixed feelings about finding a love interest at the same time as losing someone.
“At first I thought it was so difficult to meet someone right as I was losing someone I loved so much. I knew he’d have to be patient with me. He’d have to let me grieve. It would be easier not to even try during that process,” she wrote. “But grieving for Owen was like nothing I’d ever experienced, and I promised Owen and myself to continue to let all that love be there along with the sadness.”
Strong soon came to realize that meeting Jack was meant to be.
She told Jack, “I think you were a gift to me from Owen.”
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