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Michelle Miller on moving beyond grief

Michelle Miller on moving beyond grief, and finding hope
Michelle Miller on moving beyond grief, and finding hope 02:03

What to make of a year in which there was so much loss, and so much pain? Some thoughts from correspondent Michelle Miller: 

Michelle Miller with her Aunt Edna.  Family Photo

For me, 2020 will always mark the year I lost my Aunt Edna. A mother figure for most of my life, she was a survivor who faced segregation, and came out on the other side with a sense of promise and hope.

In the end it was old age, not COVID, that took Aunt Edna from us – my personal loss in a sea of loss shared globally in a year worthy of its own hashtag.

2020 may have rolled in with the usual hoopla and sense of anticipation, but it didn't take long for the dread to set in as coronavirus hit our shores, killing seemingly at random. We quarantined and watched the numbers climb.

We call them "numbers," but of course these were moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, nurses, doctors …

And COVID didn't stop there. Its victims included jobs, businesses, our sense of safety and normalcy.

And even when it wasn't COVID, 2020 took its toll. We lost the mothers and fathers of conscience and sacrifice, at a time when it seemed like we needed them the most.

As Rep. John Lewis told a graduating class at Harvard University in 2018, "My philosophy is very simple: When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, [you] stand up, say something, speak up and speak out."

And so, we welcome a New Year with barely a backward glance, like Aunt Edna, with a sense of promise and hope for better things to come.

Story produced by Amy Wall. Editor: David Bhagat. 

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