I was dreading Christmas 2019. The first one without my parents. It wasn’t the best Christmas in 2018 however we were together and we made the most of the time together. I have been lucky enough to always spend Christmas with my Mom and Dad. When I lived away from home I was always back for Christmas Day. I couldn’t imagine things any other way.
As I look back on Christmas 2019 I truly believe I was still in a state of shock, numbness. I cried a lot yet it felt as if I felt nothing which I know is hard to understand. I wasn’t going to put any Christmas decorations up at all, my heart wasn’t in it. Mom and I would always undertake this task with Dad on hand for the more difficult tasks; the places we couldn’t reach. My bereavement counsellor suggested I look at things a bit differently, do what I feel would be right to do in memory of and in honour of my parents. Himself said that as I love sparkle so much perhaps I could put up a few sparkly items so that Christmas isn’t totally missed within the home. I decided to put up the old Christmas tree in the porch for Mom and Dad. They had this tree since they got married in 1960 and it had been put up every year since. I was happy to do that.
Christmas 2018 I had purchased a small fibre optic tree because Mom was in the hospital bed in the lounge. There wasn’t any room for our usual Christmas tree. So last year I put the small one up again, with some sparkle on the window sill and a photo of Mom and Dad underneath.
I attended Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve which Fr Michael was offering for Mom and Dad. I had many tears hearing the beautiful hymns and carols what we had sang all my life. The church looked so beautiful in the stillness of the midnight hour and hearing the bells ringing out for Christmas was just heartbreaking and yet healing.
This year is going to be a very different Christmas for everyone because of the Covid-19 global pandemic. We are all under various restrictions about what we can and can’t do, where we can and can’t go and the message everywhere about staying safe, washing hands, keeping a social distance and looking after ourselves and others. Things we previously took for granted will not happen this year. However, we must do our best to stay positive. We must celebrate Christmas in some way, in each household, as before. Whether we have many internet calls, social media pictures, videos of sparkling lights or candles lit. Glasses of good cheer or hot chocolate with cream. We have to make the most of the Christmas holidays during these strange days. Don’t let this wonderful time pass us by. Christmas is a time of celebration, of hope and joy. We must hope that when Christmas 2020 arrives that we are looking at a brighter, happier and more positive 2021.
With love and sparkles xxx