• Helen Gregory

Let's all take a reality check

Last year was one that I’d rather forget. Without being too dramatic, it’s hard to remember many good times, which is why I’ve been casting further back for happier memories.

It’s also not been easy to remember the good times when these recent interactions have mainly been on Zoom. While we haven’t been able to see friends and family face-to-face, these video calls just about suffice – although they don’t compensate for the lack of a hug and real emotional connection. Being forcibly separated from our loved ones has also thrown a light on all our relationships and while some have petered out, others have been put more sharply in focus.

Many of us lost friends and family in 2020. Sometimes a eulogy has been the only way of remembering their life and the part they played in our lives. While sitting at a funeral recently, enjoying listening to recollections about my good friend, I reflected on how this relatively short summary of her life was ephemeral. Sadly, we hadn’t got round to writing her life story and some of these precious memories would no doubt eventually be forgotten, maybe not by us, but by her children and future grandchildren.

This pandemic has been a time for reflection and for gratitude. We might not particularly want to remember the last year but, like me, why not use the time to remember further back - to childhood, family life, holidays, best friends and achievements? These dark days and evenings are the perfect time to dig out your old photographs, diaries and special momentos.

Life is unpredictable and precious and if there was ever a time to record your stories to prevent them from being forgotten, it’s now. I’m taking my own advice and have just started talking to my parents about their childhoods – and I can’t wait until we can ditch the zoom for a proper catch-up!