It’s pretty much been the worst year of my life.
I am intrigued looking at my list of most viewed posts. At the top of the list is my post “Alone”. A pretty stark presentation of some intensely dark days of my grief.
I wonder, why was that most readable? It was honest? It was intriguing for people who haven’t experienced that kind of loss?
Sometimes I can forget how easily it comes to me to just say it like it is. Truth is, a lot of us don’t want to share the deep pain we are feeling and all its ugly. Additionally, a lot of us are scared of what we feel. We like to be in control but most of all, we want to be happy. Bad feelings shouldn’t feature in our lives so we ought to try and do something about them in order not to have to feel them. Perhaps just reading someone else express them brings some release for you too.
It has been a hard year but looking back over my year, I can’t help but feel a little well of joy over some of the things that have taken place. One of them being this blog. It has been a true lifeline but also, a new passion has been born and I have written my first short story along with 74 blog posts. My blog has been viewed by people in 38 different countries. I have had a total of 4116 views and 1781 visitors to it. In the grand scheme of things it’s pretty small fry but feels great to me! I have even written poetry, not something I ever thought I’d do.
I have been reading with zeal and must have read over a dozen books in the past six months. Doing my 30 things before I’m 30 has been exciting and inspired me to embrace life. Last night, I checked off going to a special place for a meal when we went to Amberley Castle with friends. It was magical. I smiled the whole way through knowing Dad would love to have seen us experiencing life, tasting good food and wine, savouring moments with special people, and feeling vaguely like a rock star for the night in a black velvet dress.
The past year has cemented something I already knew which is that I have some absolutely amazing people in my life who I feel truly, deeply, thankful for. Family and friends who are just overwhelmingly wonderful people. I will never stop being grateful for you all.
I’m grateful for my new-found motivation to be healthy and eat clean. I feel better than ever and blessed as I am not sure I would’ve coped quite as well with the turmoil of the past year had I not been living this way.
I had been dreading Christmas in the past few months (that may have come across a couple of times…!) but I have since reflected on it and now feel deeply appreciative of this time of year. I am thankful for the story. I am thankful for the family and friends I have to enjoy and treasure. Yet there is a huge hole that cannot and will not be filled. The commercial side of Christmas feels even more empty than it normally does. I feel so detached from my memories of Dad that I’m wondering if numbness will play a big role in getting me through this first Christmas without him. But I take comfort in knowing that he will want us to enjoy our time together. To treasure our family here and now for as long as we have the privilege to do so.
Like he did. So I will make the choice to do just that.
And there it is again – that strange apparent dichotomy of a deeper appreciation of the things of life alongside a churning, dark reality of pain. Empty, yet full.
Life is harder than it was before, but I feel, more so than ever, I am truly living it.
Have a great Christmas lovely readers. If you’re swimming in joy and merriment – enjoy it, if you’re in pain, feel it and embrace the good moments… Emmanuel – God with us. Through it all.
Cheers! (Raising a G&T)