For me, and for too many others, 2020 has been the hardest year of my life. It’s been the year of greatest loss. Greatest reflection. The greatest loneliness that I have ever experienced. So, on the Eve of a New Year, I wanted to write a letter to my past self about how 2020 will change me.
I am writing this letter to myself as it is New Years Eve of 2019.
2020 will start with the hope and promise of a New Year. The number 20 is your favourite number and you are so absolute that this year will be your perfect year. That everything will finally come together and everything will be great.
Early in the year you will conquer 20kgs of weight loss and you will be feeling so incredibly hopeful for the year ahead. You will be happy and confident and ready to take on the world. There is a virus that is just getting started in China. You will see it in the news, but naively think nothing of it. But the virus will kill nearly 2 million people around the globe. It will not discriminate and it will take whoever it wants to. It will divide the world and put a heartbreaking end to the most simple things like grocery shopping, travelling, hugs and seeing people’s smiles. You will not be able to attend funerals. And you will be isolated. Even as news of Covid starts to spread, you will be optimistic that everything would be ok. “What’s the worst that can happen?” you will say… oh how 2020 will prove to you exactly what the worst can be.
The hardest thing that 2020 will bring you is grief. Overwhelming and consuming grief. You will lose 2 of the most beautiful people in your world, both unexpected and quick. Both without warning. Both incredibly unfair. One will show you your own mortality. The other will show you your children's. Both will break you in a way that you never thought you could be broken. The grief will leave you feeling the most incredible loneliness that you could ever experience. You will feel isolated. Alone. Misunderstood. Confused. Angry. Sad. Suicidal.
2020 is the medical term for perfect vision. At the end of 2020, you will all be left with 2020 hindsight of what could have been and what will be for years to come. You will reflect on what you are and who you have become. You won't like what you see. You will realise how messy and out of control you really are and you will look at your life and wonder what’s the point of continuing? You will contemplate suicide. You will want to leave it all behind. Then the loss of your magnificent god sister and cousin, will jolt you back to reality and make you realise how important it is to get healthy, move your body, quit the bull shit, stop surviving and start living. It will be so fucked up that the loss of your dear Libby will be the driving force for change, but you won’t let one more day pass you by without making a change for the better. Your new life purpose will be to spread kindness. Love. Acceptance. Healing. You will spread Libby’s Story to the world. It won’t be fair. It hurts like hell. You will cry so many tears you will literally ask your friend if there is a way to run out of tears. But it won’t be in vain. Libby will give her life in 2020 to change the world for you. For so many.
Libby will give her life in 2020 to change the world for you
You will learn that you can lose so much. You will lose a patriarch. You will lose the kindest soul to have been in your life. But you will never lose what they gave you. The wisdom. The lessons. The love. The kindness. The will to never give up.
You will learn that you can feel incredibly alone when you are in a room full of people. You will learn that you aren’t alone, even when you are by yourself. You will learn that those who are meant to love you, don’t. You will learn that you don’t have to be in the same room to feel the love of others. You will learn that you can be connected to your family even when you can’t touch them. You will learn that your family aren’t always those who are your blood. You will rediscover that those who have your blood are always family. You will be taught that when you are feeling the most pain, you will be forgotten. You will be taught that when you are feeling the most pain, you will be helped the most.
You will be so thankful to see the end of 2020. But you will learn the lessons it is here to teach. You will never be the same again. And that’s perfect. Because the person you are coming into 2020 isn’t as brilliant as the one leaving it. You won’t be happy that it happened. But you, me, them, everyone, will be better for it. We all need 2020 to happen. It will slow us down. It will make us love. It will make us thankful. It will make us be kind. Most of all, it will make you live.
2020. It will almost break you. But it will be just as you are as deep in darkness, that the stars will show you the light. It is when you are at the bottom, that you will start your way to the top. So hold on. It’s going to be the hardest year of your life. But it will also be the greatest. Love you, Dee