This Christmas will be the 2nd Christmas without my nan. It will be my 4th without my gran. It will be my 24th without my mum.
It will also be my 12th with my husband. It will be my 19th with my stepmum joining our family.
Christmas can be difficult but mainly because of the rollercoaster of emotions. On the one hand, spending time with loved ones, friends and family can mean that Christmas is an extremely happy time. On the flip side it means that I think about who isn’t around.
I miss buying my grandma and nan slippers. I miss buying my mum things that have no real value but show that I’m thinking of her. Instead I replace those things with my visit to her graveside. Carnations. A Christmas tree and a card taped securely to her gravestone.
It doesn’t get easier the more time passes. You just find a way to cope with things in different ways that mean that you don’t cry every time you think of the person who has died. I can go weeks without consciously thinking about my mum and then all of a sudden she pops into my head and then it’s like I’m back there 24 years ago listening to two police officers saying that she has died.
The difference is now that I have accumulated people. Lots and lots of lovely people who I can talk to about my mum and my nan and gran. The way that my nan was the least politically correct person ever but also the most tolerant. The way my gran would make me smile the minute I saw her. The way my mum made me laugh.
This Christmas I’ll remember all the people I have lost. I’ll also remember all the people I have gained though.