I’ve been hesitant to write about how this December is shaping up for me and my family but it struck me today that although we have received many good wishes, generous gifts and a few Christmas cards, only one person has actually said to me that Michael is being missed. Up to that point I had quite realised that people no longer mention his name when they speak to me.
I don’t understand people’s reluctance to say his name, it’s as if he never existed. People have got round by saying “we know it’s difficult” or “thinking of you” and whilst I appreciate the sentiments it makes me sad that people have stopped talking about Michael, and I’m finding it extremely difficult to accept it.
Life without Michael will never be the same again, more than 11 months after his death I’m still not sure what shape this life is supposed to be taking. Talking about him and the memories I have of him is essential to me and my children, when other people who knew him, far longer than I did, fail to mention his name it hurts.
Christmas has been cancelled in our home. There are no decorations, at the specific request of my children, we’re not having the traditional Christmas meal. I was never bothered by turkey, but was happy to cook it for Michael for whom Christmas was the best thing that could ever happen to him, he relished the whole thing indulging excessively in food, drink and gift giving, but much more than that he embraced Christmas with the enthusiasm of an overgrown child.
As it is my children are going to have more christmasses without their father than they did with him. This is painful for me and beyond comprehension.
Tonight we sat down to watch Michael’s favourite Christmas film, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I had never watched it from beginning to end, being as I always was busy wrapping presents, cooking, decorating or last minute shopping. I understand the moral of the story and now also get why Michael loved this film so much.
I’m not looking forward to Christmas morning without him by my side. I fear all joy has completely abandoned our family and I can’t bear the thought of him not being with us, being silly, singing at the top of his voice and getting overexcited at the prospect of opening his presents.
I have mixed feelings about the year which is about to end. Every day, week and month that passes is yet more time further away from the last time I heard his voice, held his hand, hugged him. On one hand I can’t wait to see the back of 2016 off, on the other I want time to freeze as I don’t wish that gap to continue to grow. It’s a dilemma I can’t seem to be able to reconcile.