Now December is over I can stop and breathe, look back over the month with a clearer view. December, for me, is all about getting through, like walking through a bog of thick mud. It's hard work and it's tiring but you get to the end eventually.
Down the Rabbit Hole, that's certainly how December feels. It begins on the 6th with the memory of taking Lauren into Chorley Hospital, our last car drive together and culminates in a crescendo on the 24th which is the Anniversary of her Funeral, my 13year old daughters funeral. Still now, after 2 years it doesn't seem real.
December is a pretty crappy month, and all to the backdrop of what feels like the whole word announcing that it's the most wonderful time of the year.
But December is pretty crappy for anyone who has suffered a loss. There are so many rituals that illicit painful memories, setting the table or putting out the presents when one place is empty. Even if, like me, you decide to dodge a bullet by not sending Xmas cards (one name missing) you still have to cope with receiving them.
We've began our new rituals, to replace or hide the ones that are now too painful to repeat. We try to spend the time making new memories with friends & family (I think omicron missed that memo).
Maybe having one month with all the painful anniversaries and also Christmas helps us to just have one dysfunctional month. A surreal month with periods of highs and lows, sobs drowned out with bucks fizz, an angel placed on top of a Christmas tree to remember the day a daughter & sister died. There are the happy moments of present openings mixed with the memories of Christmases gone by. Smiles through tears. And when we get through we then have New Years Eve and the promise of a "Happy New Year". One more year further on from when I last saw her, touched her, laughed with her.
But as always we make the most of it. because what is the alternative? Life is too precious to waste. I do allow myself to feel sad, but for a moment, not a day. I sobbed whilst prepping Christmas veg (bloody sprouts) but 5mins later that time had passed, replaced by a current moment, a happy moment.
The reality is that December is crappy, but so many other times are too. There are innumerable reminders of a life now lost, too many to mention. Sometimes they go by unnoticed but at other times the same memory go can stop you in your tracks, no rhyme or reason. All over the world people are dealing with the same things. If you are not yet touched by grief, savour it, be grateful for your good fortune.
"But it's no use now" thought poor Alice, "to pretend to be two people!
Why, there's hardly enough of me left to make one"