Part 1 of a photo series on life after 2020.
It seems that 2020 refuses to recede into the past. People I care about continue to lose their loved ones. A father gone here, a spouse there. My grandmother died in 2022, after a bad fall, and I hadn’t traveled to see her in the previous years due to the strain with COVID testing and quarantine. Then, I didn’t fly to the funeral because I had already lost the person I most wanted to see. Besides, I thought to myself, I had a committee meeting on the same day as the funeral.
After her death, I bought chrysanthemums and built a small arrangement in her memory. In the culture I was raised with, chrysanthemums are reserved for the emperor’s seal and for funerals. My grandmother loved flowers, like grandmothers do.
As the flowers grew old, I came to them one day to see a head of petals had fallen to the table. I hadn’t heard them fall. The other petals have started to crumble off the other chrysanthemums as well, so I wonder if I should throw them out or wait for the other heads to fall.