COVID-19 WIDOW: ‘Life does carry on, but we miss him every day’

by Amy Rowland |
Published on

Emma Charlesworth, 42, lives with daughter, Rebekah, 14, in Kent. Her husband, Charlie, was just 45 when he died in April 2020 from Covid 19.

Emma says, ‘Charlie and I got together on my 18th birthday and married in 2005. We went on to have our daughter, Rebekah. He was my best friend as well as my husband. He was the singer in two local bands and was the life and soul of every party.

‘But in March 2020, our happy life was shattered when Charlie caught Covid-19. We’d heard about the virus on the news, and now we were dealing with it first-hand.

‘At first, he seemed okay. He had a high temperature but no cough, so when we called 111 for advice, we were told he should isolate at home. But after a week, Charlie had what I thought was a panic attack. I took his temperature but it was coming down.

‘A few hours later, in the early hours of my 39th birthday on 30 March, I rang 999 after Charlie had what I thought was another panic attack. They sent an ambulance but I wasn’t allowed to go with him.

‘I called for an update a couple of hours later and felt sick as I was told he’d been taken straight to the Intensive Care Unit, sedated and put on a ventilator. He’d been watching Harry Potter the day before - now he was fighting for his life, and we weren’t allowed to visit him. It didn’t seem real.

‘There wasn’t even the option to visit wearing PPE, as there was a national shortage and the hospital had none to spare. I couldn’t have friends or family by my side as lockdown rules were so strict, and I had to be strong for Rebekah who was worried about her dad.

‘I phoned for updates every day, but there was no sign of improvement. After two weeks, I spoke to a consultant who asked if anyone had prepared me for the fact Charlie might never come home.

‘I had to sit Rebekah down and explain how poorly her dad was and that he might never come home. I remember asking if she understood and she replied, ‘Yes, you’re saying daddy might die.’
‘The hospital sorted out an iPad so we could video-call Charlie, although he was unconscious. Each day I’d ask Rebekah if she wanted to talk to daddy and her response was always, ‘Well, I’ll talk to him today because he’s here today isn’t he and might not be tomorrow’.
‘The hospital sent us matching friendship bracelets and put one on Charlie’s wrist too. It was as close to him as we could get.
‘Then, after three weeks, the hospital gave me devastating news – Charlie only had a few days left. I was offered the opportunity to visit, but I was warned if I visited Charlie I’d have to isolate from Rebekah for a week.
‘I knew Charlie would understand the impossible choice I faced. I couldn’t be separated from our daughter for seven days just as she lost her father. She needed me and I needed her.

‘So, we had a final video call, where I told him how loved he was. There was no final kiss, no goodbye hug. On 19 April, Charlie died. He was just 45 and we’d had so many plans.

‘We were only allowed ten people at his funeral. But on the day, Charlie’s football team, colleagues, band members, friends and family lined our street, socially distanced. It was a bittersweet, beautiful moment.

‘In the weeks after Charlie died, Rebekah and I spent our days talking about him and processing our grief. I went back to work shortly after the funeral as I felt it was important that Rebekah and I had some routine and structure when the rest of our world had imploded.

‘It’s been almost four years since we lost Charlie. Life does carry on, but we miss him every day.’

For help and more information, head to

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us