Dialog Box


Dealing with grief in 2020


No matter how many milestones I’ve braced myself through, the hardest one was when the clock struck midnight in 2017 and ticked over to 2018. Not because I was 8 months pregnant and couldn’t have the obligatory glass of champagne, and not because I’d only lost Josh a month before. It was because as my friends began the countdown, I suddenly realised that Josh would never know 2018.

Time is an important factor in grief, and we place a lot of emphasis on it. How many years have passed, how long until we laugh again, how frequently we cry or panic. So now, as I approach my 4th New Years Eve without Josh, I’ve got some resolutions I’d like to share with you all. 

I am, as ever, so unbelievably proud to walk beside you all in this community. But I'm deeply aware of how hard it has been to walk this path this year with Covid at your heels. I do have some amazing individuals in mind when I say this, but I want to acknowledge everyone who had a diagnosis, went through treatment, or had to say goodbye this year. I remember sitting at home, live-streaming a funeral of one of my dear friends a few months ago and just coming to terms with the unfathomable challenges that have been placed on this community during the pandemic, on top of something that is already so unfair. We shouldn’t have to do this in isolation and I’m grateful to those of you who reached out to us this year, and to those of you who were able to connect with each other virtually.


I’ve found this year one of my most challenging years with CBCF, but I’m here at the end of it feeling proud of 2020 and excited for 2021. And I've made the resolution to keep powering forward to find that cure. I hope you're with me.


Heartbreak has played a big factor in my 2020. This year, I’ve missed Josh more than ever. I don’t think I really appreciated how broken my heart was, until I started to find love in my life again. If I’m constantly learning in grief, learning to live with heartbreak has been a huge lesson for me. This year I was also reminded that sometimes, that heartbreak changes you so much that the people you used to be close to “before” can no longer walk beside you.


It's hard to change or say goodbye to elements of my life that connect me back to Josh, so I tend to hold on to things longer than I should. So, this year my resolution is to take a lesson from my daughter Primrose’s favourite movie, and “Let It Go”.


Covid has forced us all to sit in our emotions, milestones and discoveries without distraction. For me, this has meant not being able to fill my days with a million tasks and commitments. Looking back, I wish it hadn’t taken a Pandemic to slow me down and focus on actually dealing with my grief instead of running from it. I won’t pretend it hasn’t been hard to focus on that grief: The trauma of watching Josh decline, the pressure of bringing up Primrose alone. But, I’m here at the end of the year feeling more grounded and happier than I’ve been in years. Which is weirdly, thanks to Covid.


Slowing down and reflecting has been the theme of the year, and so this year my resolution is to take those Covid lessons into 2021 and continue to focus on the magnificent people I’m surrounded by and lucky to share my life with. 


I’m kind of glad 2020 happened, even though it’s not a year I’d like to repeat in a hurry. It’s been a Herculean effort and it’s taken a huge amount of strength and tenacity. I’m grateful to my lovely little lockdown family for patiently and lovingly supporting me through, and to my brain cancer family for inspiring me with your incredible resilience. This year, we all (one way or another) rose to meet all the challenges of 2020 and now we have the promise of 2021 and all the achievements and breakthroughs that it will bring.


Have a wonderful and safe holiday period, be safe and cuddle your loved ones a little tighter this year.

Love to you all

Annabelle x