Photo courtesy of Rick Holter

Rick Holter had to say “goodbye” to his father on FaceTime, and he couldn’t attend his funeral in Maryland earlier this month.

No one could, really.

A few relatives stood, socially distanced, with a minister in the graveyard, and one brother watched from inside a car.

Richard Holter Sr. died on Good Friday at age 92. A lifelong dairy farmer, he lived in a long-term care facility and had been in declining health, but COVID 19 quickly took his life, the day after he fell ill.

“It’s horrible,” Holter told the Frederick News-Post. “It just tears your heart out. All of the usual rituals of grief, all the usual kind of mourning and hugging and telling tales and laughing, which is an important part of grief, you kind of don’t get to do.”

Holter, who lives in Oak Cliff and is vice president of news at KERA, tells his own story of grieving in the time of social distancing.

The last few weeks, day after day, it’s been so easy to get lost in those numbers – the confirmed cases, the ventilator count, the deaths.

My dad would have appreciated the numbers. He loved sports, loved to check the box scores in the paper every morning, loved to repeat ’em on the phone later that day, even if you’d read the same box score online the night before.

The thing is, today … these numbers? Every one is one. Every one is a Dick Holter.