So, it's Christmas time and while we are decorating the house and trying to find the Christmas cheer, we're preparing yet another funeral this Thursday.
I lost both of my grandparents and my dad in one year, and we're just... Well, it's hard, to say the least. walking around this house, preparing everything is like being followed by ghosts, by people you know are no longer there, but that you can feel all around you anyway.
We did last yer Christmas without my grandma because she was in a coma at that time, following surgery to remove tumors that were back no four weeks later. I remember how we went to church Christmas Eve (it's when Germans do Christmas), my mom, my aunt, my cousin, and me, and we all had our arms linked, bracing ourselves for questions we couldn't really answer.
It was a small affair, just the reading of the Christmas story of the Bible, and some get-together with spiced wine and cookies. It was beautiful, but it was also painful.
This year there's no hope that she'll come out of it because she lost the battle against Cancer on February 21st.
All those things she usually did around Christmas time I'm going to be doing this year, knowing she won't ever do them again. The cookies, our traditional potato salad, the red cabbage on December 25th... However, we're seeing the positive, right? She's looking down on me, and she's happy where she is. I know she is. And she'll be happy knowing that for the first time in years we're going to do a real family Christmas again, with everyone together, because this year has brought us closer together again.
I'm also waking around thinking of the fact that during Christmas time I used to talk to my dad more than I did most of the year, and that he'd call and ask about cookies and cake, and that he'd come by to see us during that time, which he won't be doing.
He also won't be calling me New Year's Eve to wish me a happy new year. I know from experience that the Christmas time is usually over fast, and yet, this year it seems to go slower, more painful, hurting reminders around all corners.
I don't think grieving or bad luck are a competition, and I cannot help but think of all those people who've had a bad year, no matter what had happened to them. I wish I could hug you all, could take your sorrows. It doesn't matter if you've had one death in your circle, no death, or a hell of a lot more. Every little bit of pain seems to get harder to bear at Christmas time and I just want you to know... I'm here. I'm thinking of you, I'm helping you shoulder your pain.
And to remind you: You're not alone. You're loved from down below and Heaven above. It's what I hold onto, because I cannot believe that the people I love aren't any longer with.