2020 has been a difficult and trying year for many, as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted millions and millions of lives. In the United States, more than 230,000 people have died due to the coronavirus and complications from it, meaning millions have seen the direct impact of losing someone in their family or a close friend.
Among those is Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, who lost his mother, Jacqueline, to COVID-19 back in April. Towns spoke about his mother’s battle with the virus, which put her in a medically-induced coma prior to her passing, in a video in late March offering a plea for people to take the pandemic seriously and calling for support for medical facilities which were, at the time, facing shortages of PPE, ventilators, and other much-needed equipment.
Since then, Towns has been active in the fight for social justice, marching with citizens in Minnesota after the death of George Floyd, all the while dealing with the devastation of losing his mother, with whom he was extremely close. On Monday night, Towns posted a video to his YouTube channel titled “The Toughest Year Of My Life” in which he sat down for an interview to talk about the weeks that his mother was sick and in the hospital and how he’s tried to deal and cope with the emotions of losing her.
It is a raw account of the most difficult period of his life, as he opened up about everything from making incredibly difficult decisions about how to proceed after she had a stroke to having to call his grandmother to tell her that her daughter had passed. It is something that Towns didn’t have to do publicly, but showing that emotion and explaining how difficult all of it was and still is — he says he simply has to take things day-by-day because how he feels still changes dramatically — is something that can help others that have been dealing with the same things.
There are millions who have lost family members and seeing Towns open up about his grief and how he’s trying to proceed by carrying his mother’s legacy forward is an incredibly powerful thing that can help others recognize they aren’t alone in this and that everyone, even an elite athlete, struggles with the same things on a daily basis and that it’s OK to do so.