the one when there’s a calamity in calmness


It’s been quite a while…

Yet here we are in 2021, still in a raging pandemic… the aftermath of the dumpster fire of a year that was 2020. It was almost a year ago when my nursing unit got turned into the dedicated COVID unit. There was chaos, mayhem and fear at the unknown… around this time last year I couldn’t have foreseen that we would still be wearing masks and socially distancing months long after the initial surge of patients. There were many moments that I could never unsee… the sickness and death that still scars me to this day. Normal became a thing of the past, almost forgotten.

Sherman Library & Gardens, Corona Del Mar CA

There were personal things too — an incredible sense of sadness that enveloped the latter half of my 2020 when one of my brothers suddenly passed away from what we could now confirm as an aneurysm. The exact moment has been seared into my memory… at work, the middle of passing medications when I got the “call.” Only then a couple of months later, another loss befell our family… my Dad lost his fight against end stage lung cancer. There was this morbid oddity of having two funerals over Zoom… all within a year when it seemed every significant moments in our lives were spent over Zoom meetings.

Sherman Library & Gardens, Corona Del Mar CA

In my daily struggles in maintaining my mental health, I turned into an old hobby — film photography. That and roaming around horticultural institutions and botanical gardens. There was beauty in the stillness of nature, flowers still bloomed reminding me that life still goes on… life has to go on.

There is so much tragedy, but maybe there was still lessons to be learned.

Sherman Library & Gardens, Corona Del Mar CA

I became much closer to my older siblings, forged by our collective sense of sudden loss. There was time to slow down and not get pulled down by hecticness of life, as it was pre-pandemic. Realized that I was stronger than I thought I was. Acknowledging that a step backwards doesn’t mean that I can’t take a step forward in my mental health.

That you could be simultaneously numb, yet be bursting with emotions.

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