New Year’s Day is certainly a day for looking ahead–what will the new year bring, what am I going to do different this year, how old will I be on my next birthday. But it’s also a time to look back at the things and people that left us during the previous year, many of whom will diminish our world with their passing.
Maybe I’m just getting older, but it seems like I feel the 2022 losses more than those in previous years. True icons like Betty White, Mikhail Gorbachev, Sidney Poitier.
In the sports world, there’s Pele, who was arguably the greatest soccer (football) player of all time, and Bill Russell, the first really “big man” to move on to a giant career after basketball. Cricket player Shane Warne.
Comedy won’t be quite the same without Betty White or those she inspired like Bob Saget of TV’s Full House (and Fuller House) or Kirstie Alley of Cheers or Sally Kellerman, who played Hot Lips in the original M*A*S*H movie. Singers Olivia Newton-John and “Meat Loaf.”
Mafia actors were hit especially hard this year: Paul Sorvino and Ray Liotta from Goodfellas and James Caan from The Godfather. Prolific actors like Angela Lansbury and William Hurt or once-in-a-generation icons like Sidney Poitier.
And of course the one that overshadows them all in 2022: Queen Elizabeth II. Larger-than-life doesn’t begin to describe her seven decades on the throne of England and of all those lost, the hole she left in our society will most likely take the longest to fill–if that is even possible.
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