Slightly Lighter

By Emma Pearson

June 22, 2024

Image by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

26 December 2022

I survived another Christmas Day. Woohoo!
I survived yet another Christmas Day.
I am impressed.

And of all of the above words, the word “survived” is the one that least fits. Because, for the first time in 9 Christmases, it didn’t feel like “survival”. It wasn’t exactly singing and dancing, nor was it fun and giggles and laughter. No. It wasn’t easy. But it wasn’t as hard. I didn’t have to grin and bear it from beginning to end. I didn’t have to grit my teeth. I didn’t have to “woman up”. It was surprisingly o k a y.

Which in and of itself is quite amazing.

Over three years now, and no too-close-to-me deaths.

And no-one sharing shockingly devastating news about stage four cancer – (Don in December 2014); no-one terribly, terribly ill, and end-of-life (Edward in 2015), no-one confined to the bedroom, so sick with chemo he cannot make it to any of the Christmas “celebrations” (Mike in 2016), no-one so depressed that she can barely emerge from her room, (Julia in 2018)…. Not to mention the “gap years” of 2017 when Mike had died, or 2019 when Julia had died. Not to mention either the COVID years of 2020 or 2021. None of that.

No diagnosis or diagnoses.

No disease.

No death.

No dying.

No chemo.

No depression.

No shockingly recent Grief.

No COVID-disruption. (Though Megan made a pretty good effort, seemingly coming home with COVID in her nostrils. But perhaps it was just a false positive. It disappeared within 48 hours anyway. In time for Christmas Day).  

All in all, no Drama. No Massive Shockers. No Additional Trauma.

Altogether Lighter.

Thank you, Christmas Angels.

Thank you, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you, Turkey (local, had a happy life running around in fields above where I live. Honest).

Thank you, Life.

And thank you, Grief, for being there, though not quite so entirely all-consumingly, all-encompassingly.

La vita continua. E va bene così.

About Emma Pearson

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