Saying goodbye to both parents at once


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Almost 2,000 South Dakotans have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

“Nobody prepares you to be an adult orphan,” Mary Schmidt said.

Mary Schmidt of Huron never expected to lose both of her parents so soon after the other. But that’s what happened when they both got COVID-19.

Schmidt’s mom, Mary Ann Fransen passed away on December 17 and then her dad followed on January 6th.

Faces of COVID19

“He was not happy without mom, so. We’ve suspected for a long time that if she were to die first that he would soon follow. I didn’t realize that it would only be twenty days, but he did,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt’s parents had been living with her since 2015.

“Their health started to decline in 2014 and then by 2015, we knew they just couldn’t be home by themselves anymore. I was working at home and mom did not want to go to assisted living, so they came to Huron to live with me and my family,” Schmidt said.

Life without them has been a difficult adjustment.

“This has been very hard and having had them in my home for five years, it’s very quiet here. So, we’re trying to figure out what our new normal is,” Schmidt said.

A new normal she never expected.

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