Out of New York, Finding Closure

Holly Lynch
3 min readSep 15, 2021


This will be my last post from New York, the City that has been my home for my entire life. My apartment on West 70th Street goes on the market this week, and Pippa and I fly back to Bermuda on Saturday to open a new chapter in our story together.

The last few weeks have been pretty seismic for me, as they seem to be for many in my community. One of my dearest friends, Nnamdi, is moving to San Francisco, as are two other friends — Greg and Derek. Others in my life are moving to Chicago and Spain… And the list goes on. I’m not sure if this shift in the sands is universal or more localized to New York, But for me the whole scenario of the last few weeks of selling, giving away, and saying good-bye for now to a significant majority of the people and experiences that have shaped my life to date, brought to mind the memoir and movie Out of Africa by one of my very favorite heroines Karen Blixen, AKA Isak Dinesen, who moved to and bult a coffee plantation and life in Kenya during the first half of the 20th century. In her case, as mine, the disasters of storms, floods, deadly disease and many heartbreaks and betrayals by loved ones are very prevalent as are the finding of a community in the most unexpected places. Rather than joining “The Club” of British Colonials, Karen found her friends amongst the Muslim minority and the Bantu-speaking Gikuyu of the Kenyan highlands, and I found mine at the intersection of Chelsea, Broadway Bares/Equity Fights AIDS and the outer boroughs. We have also shared a story of single women fighting for those, who (like us), have limited voice and representation.

And in both our cases it wasn’t exactly choice that pushed us to a final chapter of closure and departure from a place that shaped us. It was global crisis and forces beyond our control. In my case a global pandemic, and collapse of my city, and in hers, expanding colonial powers and the hand of God, burning down her farm.

Regardless, real closure requires letting go, of control, of ownership, and of responsibility for everything you thought was “yours” in the hopes someone else will pick up where you had to let go. And it’s certainly a hard-learned skill to develop. Karen had to let go of a life, and meaning, not just built in Africa, but imported from Denmark to help with the build. Her imported crystal and china, and skill for story-telling paved the way for more women like her to challenge the norms in Africa and around the world. And now is my turn. So much of my life and personal meaning has been wrapped up in trying to ensure that a more equitable New York lives and breathes for future generations, and now as I sit on the floor of my living room, remembering all my efforts through investment and social action, career transitions, cancer treatments and political pursuits along with open-doored, festive parties in every room, I can only hope that some of what I’ve done lives on in those who were here with me. And that my adventures, while over here, are actually just beginning in Bermuda. And I look forward to closing this chapter, and beginning the next with you.

Holly Lynch is a 20+ year communications veteran and life-long social impact advocate and strategist who has helped individuals and companies tackle the toughest challenges in their worlds. Having survived countless life setbacks and two rounds with terminal cancer, while seeing the country-wide collapse of the systems and safety nets for the most vulnerable in and outside our communities, she is now shifting her life and career trajectories to focus on coaching those facing down fundamental shifts and transitions as they try to navigate and rebuild their lives and businesses during these unprecedented times.