“I hope we can put 2020 behind us and erase it from our calendar,” I had said sometime in June, last year. I had no idea then how hard it would be to say ‘goodbye’ to 2020 and that I would never be able to erase it. 2020 is going to be a part of my story forever- the year I lost my last living parent.
For me, moving on to 2021 meant closing the 2020 chapter. I wasn’t ready to because holding on to the last year felt like a way to hold on to those I had lost in 2020. Moving ahead meant relegating them to the past. Saying ‘I lost my dad last year,’ felt wrong- it felt like the loss had happened a long time ago when it is only really ‘last month.’ I felt it was too soon to say, ‘Goodbye’. That is why this post took time- I couldn’t bring myself to wish you for the new year. I am sure there are many out there who felt the same as me because 2020 has been cruel to some of us. But isn’t that true for any year?
Five days down the line after a short getaway to the unfamiliar (I’ll write about it another post) and after reading the book, ‘Being Mortal’ Journey to healing: ‘Being Mortal’ by Dr. Atul Gawande I feel stronger and more ready to take on another year. Isn’t that what life is about- not giving in or up?
The year in retrospect
2020 taught me to practice self-restraint, rethink priorities and prioritize relationships. I learnt to filter the grain from the chaff – unnecessary expenses, superficial relationships – I learnt to cut them all out. I learnt to spend time with myself and my family, doing things I loved that did not require me to step out into a crowd – reading, writing and painting. I know it has been the same for others- some have taken to cooking, sewing, painting, gardening, baking, playing an instrument, yoga, caring for a pet or binge watching.
2020 was a year in which I received the maximum photographs of the sky , through WhatsApp. It only shows we learnt to appreciate the beauty of nature and to accept the fact that nature is in no way dependent on us- flowers bloomed, trees shed their leaves, birds chirped, seasons came and went, while we remained indoors.
And just when I thought 2020 was ending, it taught me more. It taught me that life goes on, no matter how broken you feel or who you lose. It tested my faith in God.
2020 was unique in that it touched each one of us in some way or another. It united all of us in our losses, our fears and our ability to withstand our losses in isolation. We learnt to delve deeper into ourselves for strength and look towards those we share our homes with for help, love and support.
2020 was the year we, as a world, survived – we weathered the storm and made it through. Its the year we found ourselves even when we thought all was lost. It brought forth our vulnerabilities and reminded us of life’s unpredictability. Most importantly, 2020 brought the human race together- as every country worked hard to fight a common enemy.
I wish all my readers a very blessed 2021. Thank you for being with me and hearing me out through 2020. Your presence, your comments have meant a lot to me. I wish you all the best for this year.
I end this post with prayers for all those who lost their lives during the year- may their souls rest in peace. May the rest of us find the strength within ourselves to cherish and make the most of what we have. May the memories of those who are no longer with us guide us as we forge ahead to another year of opportunity and hope.
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