Christmas is never the same after you loose someone you love. You go through the motions, you know you have to for those here you still have, but it won’t ever be the same. There are moments you stop, maybe unpacking the decorations, you find yourself sitting staring into space. You are remembering Christmas when you were together, when everything was how it was meant to be. Maybe it’s that old Christmas film or carol being played again, something that sparks memories.
You can still enjoy yourself, still celebrate with the people you have around you, but there is always a space in your heart. There is a space at every table and every party, a void that cannot be filled. But you smile, because you know that’s what they would have wanted, you raise a glass and say their name in a toast. Christmas comes and goes and they are still not here, it is a painful reminder of another Christmas without them.
You find yourself buying things they liked, stand transfixed in the shopping isle when you spot something. You look at other families and want to tell them to make the most of the Christmas they have because you never know how many you have in front of you. You watch the children, the excitement and know that this time is for them. You push you sadness down into the pit of your stomach only to resurface when you are alone with your thoughts, you feel a responsibility towards happiness, you can’t let the side down.
You put up that last card they sent you again, light a candle by their photo and send a prayer. My friend leaves a brandy by the fire, I bring an extra seat to the table, we all have our own rituals that help us through the season.
Every day without someone you love is difficult, some harder than others and we learn to manage. We never forget them but we cope, life goes on and we know we have to live in the real world, but Christmas, when we are constantly reminded of the joy and love of family can be the most difficult time of the year.
To anyone missing a loved one this Christmas, I’m sending you love, you see I understand. I’m wishing you the best Christmas you can possibly muster and hope like every other day of the year, our Christmases, get easier.