Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

December 31, 2020 is finally here, the date millions, perhaps billions around the world have eagerly awaited with such a collective passion that hasn’t been seen in decades. Yet, as others so quickly say ‘good riddance’, there are those of us that wish to hold on to this year just a little bit longer. 

January 1, 2020 was like any other New Years’ day, a day signifying new beginnings, second chances, and changes big and small. And it wasn’t just the start of a new year, it was also the start of a new decade. Then Covid-19 hit. Like an a wildfire we watched as the virus spread so violently around the world. Morgues and hospitals overwhelmed, planes grounded, cities shut down. Not surprisingly, we all wanted to see the end of this virus and go back to normal.

My little family had our trip home to New Zealand postponed once again; my parents and my daughter had yet to meet in real life. We stayed home in our little apartment observing the silence of the streets below too often pierced with the screams of ambulance sirens. Nightly, we stood on our balcony to clap and cheer for our heroes who wore medical scrubs, white pharmacy coats, and uniforms fit for deliveries, grocery stores, and factories. I switched the TV on and my blog off. Amongst all the oddities and losses, everyone I knew and loved was safe, and that had to be enough.

In spite of the stillness of staying home, my mum’s body became ravaged with cancer – pancreatic cancer. It was that night that she was admitted to emergency, it was that night before we knew what pain had been plaguing her those few months, it was that night that would permanently change my life beyond the pandemic and it’s eventual demise. It would take only five weeks from diagnosis for the cancer to take my mother.

I’m not alone in having lost a loved on this year. We have grieved our way through seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months of loss. 2021 takes us into a new counter of time that we’re just not ready for. For all the bad that existed in 2020, there was a ray of sunshine by way of our loved ones presence. In 2020, they were alive; in 2021, they are not. So as you seek to hastily sweep this year under the rug and sprint into the new year, remember and hold space for those of us who wish to hold onto 2020, and the lives of our loved ones, just a little longer. 

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