Ever since I was little, I’ve always adored Christmas. The atmosphere, the pretty decorations, the food (always about the food) and most importantly, getting to spend quality time with loved ones.
This will be the fourth Christmas since the girls and I faced our life-changing loss. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve been living with gusto and made some brave changes during that strange period of time but every year, we also hit a little wobble.
For me, it happens when Christmas Day is drawing closer and we’re making plans to catch up with friends and family. As wonderful as this is and I know that we’re blessed to have so many people around us, it also tends to serve as a stark reminder that we’ll be moving into another new year with nothing but memories of those we leave even further behind.
I personally allow myself the time to quietly grieve and this isn’t a process that is done in public. I seem to have become quite private in my thoughts since I accepted this new reality but just because I’m not wearing a black veil and wailing on a daily basis, it doesn’t make it hurt any less.
This year, I couldn’t face the idea of attending our annual memorial service at a local church and instead opted to reflect alone, allowing my feelings to flow through me without apology. I’ve also noticed a subtle difference this year. Instead of being consumed with sadness, I’m feeling mostly gratitude for having spent time with those people who are no longer with us.
So please don’t avoid mentioning their names this Christmas. Instead, let’s raise a glass together and remember how privileged we’ve been to know them, regardless of how premature their deaths may have been.
‘Let go of the little distractions. Hold close to the ones that you love. We won’t all be here this time next year, so while you can, take a picture of us.‘ – Frank Turner