Ms Smith had to say goodbye to her husband on FaceTime. Picture: Facebook
Ms Smith had to say goodbye to her husband on FaceTime. Picture: Facebook

Wife’s final goodbye over FaceTime

An American woman has been forced to say goodbye to her beloved husband via a video call after coronavirus kept them apart.

Marini Smith, from the US state of Michigan, was unable to see her husband Rayshone in the week before coronavirus killed him.

A nurse, who was so touched by their heartbreaking story, used her own phone to connect the couple and their daughter through FaceTime.

And in another tragic twist, Ms Smith was also unable to attend her husband's funeral due to her own coronavirus diagnosis.

"The nurse felt so bad for my daughter and I, she used her personal phone and FaceTimed us, which I thought was really, really nice," Ms Smith told CNN.

"So, she let us speak with him, and I asked was he scared? He said 'Yeah'. Everybody that knows my husband know he's not afraid of anything, but he was very, very scared."

Ms Smith was forced to say goodbye to her husband on FaceTime. Picture: Facebook
Ms Smith was forced to say goodbye to her husband on FaceTime. Picture: Facebook


The last time the couple saw each other was on March 16 when Mr Smith was admitted to hospital. A week later, he had died from coronavirus.

Ms Smith said in the weeks after her husband's death, the virus had swept through the entire family.

"People in the family started displaying flu-like symptoms - no idea it was corona, nothing like that, just, 'Hey, I don't feel so good'," Ms Smith said. "My husband, his symptom was a high fever."

Due to the outbreak in the family, Ms Smith and her daughter weren't able to attend the funeral, instead forced to watch short mobile phone videos of the service.

"I didn't want him to leave here alone. I just feel like he was there for everybody, and I feel like he was alone. Nobody was able to be there for him," Ms Smith said.

"I promised (my daughter) when this is all over, we're going somewhere, we're going to scream and cry and hold each other, and we're going to go visit her dad."

Mr Smith with his daughter. Picture: Supplied
Mr Smith with his daughter. Picture: Supplied

The US is implementing restrictions similar to Australia's around funerals.

In Australia, a maximum of 10 people can attend funerals in a bid to slow the coronavirus epidemic.

Over the weekend, a Victorian woman was left "inconsolable" after two Victorian police officers reportedly interrupted her father's funeral to ensure mourners were complying with social-distancing rules.

Helen Kolovos farewelled her father on Saturday and, though difficult, the family made sure only 10 people attended the funeral.

Her family also abided by social-distancing rules by sitting in separate pews during the service.

"It is hard enough planning a funeral, let alone during a global pandemic, and we made sure we followed all social distancing rules... It was heartbreaking to have to sit separately to members of my household including my husband and two children but we understand why this has to happen," Ms Kolovos said.

Ms Kolovos said two armed police officers entered the church as her father's coffin was being carried out.

"They arrived towards the end of the funeral and showed no respect for my dad as his coffin was carried out of the church. They didn't stop talking, taking notes as we walked by.

"It interrupted the funeral, rushed us as we left and some couldn't follow the hearse as we made our way to the cemetery. It was deeply distressing."

When announcing the restrictions, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it had not been an "easy decision".

"Sadly, also, and I know this will be very difficult, funerals to no more than 10 persons observing the rules around the four-square-metre rule and the social-distancing practices," he said.


Originally published as Wife's final goodbye over FaceTime