Showing love in the way that is safe? For you, for her, for all the other residents in that facility? Is the best kind of way to show love right now. Even though it hurts.I wrote on a piece of paper, I love you.....in bit letters....but I don't think she could read it.....I walked away in tears....
My nan was only allowed 1 visitor for months, through a closed window. Before that it was Facetime, which she never really understood. They get better at it - set up a proper seat with a table for coffee cups beside it and stuff! Have a phone ready.
My nan, though, grew up through the Great Depression, and lived through a World War. On some level, I think perhaps her generation, of all us, would understand on some foundational level, that there are times when love is demonstrated by the little sacrifices we're prepared to make for our loved ones. I like to tell myself, at least, that if any generation understands that? It's theirs.
The fact that you tried? Is what counts this year. The fact that you respected the safety precautions, despite how much that hurt? Is what counts this year. You copped how painful that experience was because you love her. And that's what counts this year.
JMHO, but I think that's incredible, and generous, and the most loving thing you could possibly do.
Love in the year of Covid looks different, and it's damn hard. But it's still what matters.