Christmas 2020 has come and gone. In the silent hours of the early morning, on the day after, my mind drifts into reflection mode. We had woken up early on Christmas Day as the plan was to go and spend the day with my Mom and sister on the farm away from the city. We, as usual, started the day with the sharing of gifts. This was a somewhat different year, as Covid-19 had played havoc on the economy, we out of necessity had to curb our spending. This however did not detract from the spirit of sharing gifts, a valuable life lesson took place. Car was packed and we head on our way. On our arrival we quickly greeted everyone, drank a quick cup of coffee, and my nephew Blake and myself headed out for a little run/walk on an 18km loop, we needed to take advantage of the early morning coolness. We were very fortunate to have a support crew, my daughters, meeting us along the route with refreshments. The day then proceeded like most Christmas days with lots of tea and the traditional Christmas lunch. However as much as we were enjoying ourselves I was very aware of the absence of Yolanda. She always loved helping and serving others. Her smile and laugh were missing, and I am certain everyone was feeling the same but not saying it.
This got me to mulling over how this will be our norm going forward. Christmas will never be the same, family get togethers will never be the same. This however posed another question, was it okay to be happy, was it okay to be enjoying ourselves? The crushing pain of Yolanda’s absence in the first two years had morphed into an awareness of her space being unoccupied, does this mean we are missing her less, are we starting to forget her? The answer is obviously not, we have just adjusted to a new norm.
I guess we have adjusted to focussing on those around us, who are still living physically amongst us, who need our love and support. We have managed to turn our focus away from the inner pain and focus outwardly to those around us. This process appears to have broken the shackles of grief and allowed us the freedom to experience both grief and joy, sometimes in the same moment.
So in summary it had been a good Christmas, there had been moments of joy and sadness. The overriding feeling was a sense of peace that the grief monster of past was no longer going to crush my spirit.