On grief and loss
Updated: Mar 20
Counting my losses in 2020
2020 has ended. Finally, for good.
As I look back, I am relieved, like everyone else I suppose, that this terrible year has finally ended.
I try to look into my short history of 32 years but can not come up with another year filled with this level of loss, grief, and collective trauma.
I remember jump-starting this year hoping to realize our dreams to move to Canada.
We started getting prepared to apply for a work visa (which was supposed to take 3 weeks but took 6 months!!!! to finalize) as well as Permanent Residency through the Express Entry program (don't get me started on this one...)
I remember reading about the coronavirus epidemic in China in January & February and then the cruise ship catastrophes in the US. I remember feeling hopeless and unsettled with the news of people who got stuck in those cruises and getting infected...
I thought this was happening far far away from us. How wrong I was... How wrong we all were. Forgetting how small the world has become.
In March, I had this gut feeling that I must invite my mother for a visit. I asked her to come asap. I didn't know why, but I know I wanted her to come. She came for 2 weeks and left on March 13th. 3 days later, everything went south.
Call me a fortune teller but if she hasn't visited us then, she would have never been able to later...
The cases started to increase exponentially and all non-essential businesses closed in NY.
The first wave crushed all city, and then the state.
Then engulfed the whole US.
Thousands of people died after that. To this date, 9 months into this crisis -- 365.000 people died from Covid-19.
A devastating loss of 365.000 lives in the US. 365.000 devastated families.
It is hard to comprehend this number I know. But if this number doesn't show the seriousness of this pandemic, I don't know what will...
Still to this day, there are people out there who do not believe Covid is real.
That it is political. That still debate wearing a mask works or not. That it will go away, miraculously...
Textbook denial and irresponsibility are everywhere. Stupidity is really infinite...
I kept watching the news filled with conspiracies, late, lax or non-existent measures and lost lives... every single day.
When I feel like things can get no longer worse, watching the election news and recently US Capitol insurrection on January 6th, 2021.
I felt so sad, outraged, and lost at the same time. As if I lost my hopes for the US. For a better world.
I feel intense grief and loss as I end the year 2020;
I grieve the small joys that we all lost.
Walking casually in the street (without a mask),
Going to a mall and strolling down,
Going to a museum or cinema,
Going to a coffee shop, (and being able to sit down and read...)
Going to a restaurant and eating indoors with family or friends,
Inviting friends over to our place,
Taking my daughter to daycare or somewhere that she can socialize with other children at her age,
Losing all the things, the small things that we have taken for granted for so long...
I grieve for losing my ground, my way of living, once again,
I grieve for leaving behind my first home. my first job with my friends and colleagues and my career,
I grieve for losing part of my identity; "the scientist"
I grieve for my life in the US, the loss of my own American dream as an immigrant.
Then I grieve for the biggest loss of 2020 for me,
The loss of one of my favorite person's in the world:
May she rest in peace.
2020 is over.
Whatever is lost is gone,
Some of them for now,
What is left is grief, for all the losses.
And hope, that eventually, things will get better,
Things will happen on time and we will move forward from this limbo.
Hope that we will all see better days.
"There are far, far better things ahead than we leave behind," says C.S.Lewis.
I hope. I really hope.
January 7, 2020
Photo by Josh Adamski on Unsplash