Mourning the loss of a loved one is a struggle at the best of times but Launceston woman Katherine Hall is confronted by the unenviable reality of having to process her grief while quarantining in a local hotel.
After she attended her younger sister's funeral in Melbourne last week, Ms Hall had no choice but to enter quarantine upon returning home.
Her sister died in a car accident on April 3. She was just 35-years-old.
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"We were very close," Ms Hall said.
Compounding the pain of losing her sister was the fact that going to the funeral meant that Ms Hall would have to miss her three-year-old daughter Isla's birthday on April 27, due to a lack of flights in and out of Launceston leaving her little choice but to return home when she did.
"I've still got to pretend to her that I'm in Melbourne because if I said to her I was at home in Launceston she would be a bit confused," she said.
Ms Hall, who is studying law through the University of Sydney, will be quarantined in the Best Western Plus hotel on Earl Street until April 30. She said she couldn't fault the staff or the service they'd provided since she'd arrived there.
The time for quiet reflection afforded to her by isolation initially helped Ms Hall cope with her grief but she anticipated that that would change the longer she was holed up.
"It's been good to have a little bit of time because I was thinking going straight back into life looking after a four-year-old might be a bit intense for me," Ms Hall said.
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"But I can now see how it will not be a good thing in about a week's time ... when the fact that you can sleep in and watch what you want on TV and stuff wears off."
Ms Hall said a government liaison officer had given her their direct contact line yesterday and assured her they would be in touch with her in the coming days to discuss any mental health issues she may be experiencing.
While confined to her room, Ms Hall has been keeping herself occupied by doing yoga and completing puzzles, which her partner dropped off for her.
While she won't be able to see Isla in person on her birthday, she's arranged for balloons, cupcakes and a gift to be delivered to her on the day.
"The day I come out ... it'll be as if it's her birthday that day," Ms Hall said. "A double birthday almost."
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