It's almost upon us. The time of year when people get together, exchange gifts, eat too much, drink too much and try to forget about work and the stresses and strains of everyday life. For some, however, Christmas can be a difficult time, particularly for those who have lost loved ones during the year.
My youngest daughter Michaela lost her fiance in tragic circumstances last April and this has been well-documented in this blog. She's a bit like her Dad in that she'll put on a front and not want people to fuss over her. 'I'm fine and I can cope' is her forthright message to anyone who shows concern. This doesn't stop me worrying about her. She'll be feeling her loss acutely as Christmas Day approaches. It'll be the little things like not having to look for a present for Billy; not sharing Christmas Day with him; not wondering what he's bought her as a present. She'll see other couples radiate happiness and simply be with each other at a time of the year when being with one another means everything. Michaela won't want me saying this but I'll be giving her an extra hug this Christmas Day - I can only try to imagine how tough it will be for her but she knows her mother and I will be there for her.
I know some readers of this blog have also suffered personal loss this year and my thoughts are with them too. To everyone who has read my ramblings this year, thank you for doing so. I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas and hope 2010 is everything you want it to be.