It's been called Black Summer, the Lost Summer...but a title doesn't come close to encapsulating the events of the 2019/20 bushfires.
We were told all the numbers and stats of this "unprecedented" disaster.
How many lives lost, how many homes destroyed, how many hectares of land scorched, how many animals decimated.
But even those figures can't contain the overwhelming grief, trauma and helplessness we on the Far South Coast felt, and which many continue to feel 12 months on.
What sticks with me even now is the cloying smell of smoke and burnt wood, the sight of rivulets of metal that were once car engines, the heart-wrenching feeling upon hearing families in my community had lost loved ones, their homes, their businesses.
However, what also brings tears to my eyes is the way people rallied around each other in the immediate aftermath - and continue to do so.
Stories of heroism at the height of the emergency, and those beautiful individuals who stood up to shoulder the burden for their communities afterwards.
Politicians came for the day to give us a hand shake, but our neighbours were there for the long haul giving everyone a hand up.
And it wasn't just our neighbours. I spent a day with Team Rubicon - one organisation among many to drop everything and head to the South Coast to help wherever they could.
The highly skilled volunteers were from Norway, the UK, Germany, all more than willing to get stuck in and help. Streaks of black ash on sweaty faces and dirt-and-sawdust-encrusted hands at the end of each day. "Thank you" seems hardly enough.
The bushfires left none unscathed and the emergency began long before New Year's Eve, but when photos of Cobargo's historic main street ablaze on December 31 hit the news, the horror was palpable.
And when this tight-knit community learned of the loss of four of their own, it was almost too much to bear.
The fire burnt much more than the heart of the highway village. But Cobargo became an icon, for want of a better word; somewhere tangible those in Canberra and elsewhere could look to in recognition and direct their grief, and generosity.
Although the trauma is still raw and the New Year anniversary is sure to bring grief back to the surface - there is much to be thankful for.
That we have so many people in our community still, voluntarily, helping build their communities back up. Those seeking out and negotiating their way through the labyrinth of government grant applications to help make that happen. That the thoughts of the country - and the world - have been directed at the South Coast for a lot of this year, even as the global pandemic took precedence.
We need to continue to stand by each other and seek support should it be required.
With our love for this place and our neighbours, we will remain strong and we will recover.
Ben Smyth is the editor of the Bega District News, Merimbula News Weekly and the Eden Magnet.