New Year’s fireworks. (Wikimedia Commons)

EDITORIAL: May 2020 be a year of healing for a community in pain

The top 10 stories from the Alberni Valley in the past year were full of pain, tears and challenges

You may notice that we do not have a “look back” or a “top stories of 2019” feature in our year-end edition of the Alberni Valley News.

In the past we have looked at the top stories read on our website over the past year, and talked about issues, people and stories that affected the region both positively and negatively. We don’t have to check our analytics to know that the top 10 stories from the Alberni Valley in the past year were full of pain, tears and challenges.

Port Alberni became known internationally this year for a variety of reasons. We have purposefully chosen not to look back at those stories this year—not because we want to forget, or sweep the past under the figurative rug.

We see that our community is hurting. Families are mourning losses, others have been struggling with a strike and layoffs on the forestry front.

Others are struggling day to day to live through their circumstances, whether it be homelessness, addiction, or dealing with health issues.

We choose to remember the good this year, and think of kindnesses both large and small.

A timely conversation with someone outside the Port Alberni Shelter Society’s overdose prevention site was a good reminder that behind those challenges are people. Society is quick to kick people down when they most need encouragement, this woman said; behind every story, behind every struggle, behind every accomplishment is a person.

This year, though it may sound counter-intuitive for a business that centres on telling others’ stories, we choose to remember the people affected and not the stories themselves.

As we greet the next year and the next decade, may we celebrate the people who made us smile, and put the challenges of 2019 behind us.

— Alberni Valley News

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