Writing Through 2020, Or Not with Suzanne Lieurance

 In light of the unprecedented and scary year we've had, we thought it'd be a good idea to share our 2020 in regard to how the year affected our writing and our lives.

Today, Suzanne Lieurance shares her experience.


  As 2020 comes to a close, I have to wonder if I’m still a writer.

I haven’t gotten much writing done in months.

You see, both of my parents died this year.

My father died in January, so 2020 did not start off well.

Then, in March, the pandemic quarantined all the residents in the assisted living center where my mother was living. She was having a hard time, so after several weeks, my husband and I packed up everything we owned and moved from Florida to Nashville to take care of her.

We were lucky. We were able to rent a nice, large home down the street from my younger brother and his family, so they could visit with us and Mother often, even if only from the window, or inside at a distance, with a mask.

We hoped my mother would fare much better under our care than she had in near isolation at the assisted living center. But that was not to be. She was home with us for only one week when, overnight, she lost all use of her hands and feet and could no longer do anything for herself. We had to feed her, change her, brush her teeth and hair, prop her up in a wheelchair (after getting her in the chair with a hydraulic lift), wipe her nose, scratch her head, read to her, sing to her, tell her stories. We became her entire world– when she wasn’t hallucinating. Much of the time she communicated with people we could not see or hear.

The pandemic made it difficult to find paid caregivers, but we finally got some part time help. And, after a few weeks, my mother’s doctor referred her for Hospice care, so a nurse and an aid started coming in two to three times a week.

I don’t know what we would have done without Hospice. I knew nothing about helping a loved one die comfortably and peacefully at home. But that’s what Hospice allowed me to do for my mother for the next nine weeks – let her slowly die at home with us, in peace, without fear or pain. The Hospice people guided me every step of the way on that journey with my mother, and that is what I am most grateful for this year.

No, I didn’t get much writing done in 2020.

Mainly, I wrote my parents’ obituaries.

How I wish I could have written other things instead.

My writing tip for 2021:

Be kind to yourself. You don’t need to write every day or when there are other things you must do. Just don’t give up on your writing. Come back to it when you are able to.

For more writing tips,
be sure to visit writebythesea.com and get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge. Once you're a subscriber, you'll also have access to a Private Resource Library for Writers.

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 35 published books, a freelance writer, and a writing coach. 


deborah lyn said...

Suzanne, Thank you for sharing your sad and precious year. Your devotion and the sacrifices you and hubby made are treasures that made your Mom's last days peaceful. Bless you.
We are delighted to have you back. deborah lyn

Karen Cioffi said...

Suzanne, you certainly had a difficult year. It was a blessing, though, that you were able to be with your mother and care for her. I hope 2021 brings you back to sunny Florida and a lot more writing!

Jams and Books said...

What an especially difficult year for you and your family. I am sorry to hear this news. Thank you for sharing and explaining. Carolyn "W"

Wendy Dewar Hughes said...

I went through a similar type of year in 2019, starting with my mother's death and followed my many others'. The good news is that it's only one year, and gets better after it is over. 2021 will be a great year.

lastpg said...

Suzanne, I was sorry to hear that you lost both of your parents this year. Your fast thinking in moving so you could be with your mother will hopefully give you comfort in the coming months. I hope it helped to write about it in your post. I am glad to have you back, and look forward to a much brighter year ahead for you and all those who are struggling.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Oh, Suzanne, I am so sorry I didn't know. Sometimes just a word or two from someone helps. And I did miss you while you weren't contributing. I should have asked. Sending my condolences now and love.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

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