Husband, friend remember coronavirus victim, urge caution

"She had touched so many people's hearts in her life that they were kind of shining that love back on me."

Posted: Mar 29, 2020 6:57 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2020 12:45 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Brian Alexander lost his wife to coronavirus before being diagnosed himself. Now he is remembering her for the legacy she left and urging the community to take this virus seriously.

WATCH PART ONEEXCLUSIVE: 4J employee, widower of COVID-19 victim speaks out

"She had touched so many people's hearts in her life that they were kind of shining that love back on me," said Brian.

Friends echoed the sentiment.

"MaryKay just had a way of making everything so beautiful," said Rhonda Giandalia, a 20-year friend of Brian and MaryKay.

"It was her sense of giving and that she was basically pure love. I don't know. I guess her legacy is that if you lead a life where you actually care about people then people are going to remember you," continued Brian.

Giandalia remembered a time she and MaryKay went on a walk, and her essence of joy just came out.

"She and I and (my daughter) went on a moon walk and it was just beautiful. The leaves were actually luminating in the light from the moon and from the street light and we were literally dancing in the shadow of the tree leaves and she was just so full of life like that," she said.

Because that's who she said MaryKay was.

Though unable to have a proper memorial, Brian says his church mentioned her passing in a livestream they had the following Sunday.

"I feel like it was kind of dedicated to her," he said. "So in my heart I was like, 'Good she's able to have a service now in this way,' because who knows when I'll be able to have an actual service for her."

It has been a few weeks since MaryKay passed, and now Brian has a message for anyone who will listen.

"Most likely if you have coronavirus you won't get very sick," he began. "You may pop a fever, have a cough. But if you're that one person in I don't know how many or one of your loved ones is that one person it can just move through them like wildfire and they're gone, so please be serious about this, it's not a joke."

Brian says MaryKay's spirit is not gone -- it is living on in the lives of the people she touched.

"You don't have to be famous or do something completely awesome -- if you treat everyone with love then you're famous."

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