There’s a Facebook meme doing the rounds at the moment about laying a place out at the Christmas dining table for loved ones in heaven so they can “be with you” on Christmas Day. The meme is filled with people saying what a lovely idea it is. To me? There would be nothing worse.
Why would I want to amplify the fact that for the second year my Mom won’t be here with us? Imagine sitting staring at that empty place which would consume the whole table. Sitting next to a cold lonely empty chair.
I don’t need an empty place to remind me of her nor do I want it slapped in my face that for every single Christmas I live to see, there’s one less present to buy and one more year since we celebrated together.
Of course no one is saying I have to do it; I’m not implying that at all but it really has stuck in my head. You see when someone does everyone brings out the old cliches and I’m constantly told “she’s all around you and watching over you” In the run up to 25th December, it stings more than ever. Over the last 20 months I can go longer periods without bursting into tears or descending into a sobbing heap at bedtime wishing that she would come back; does this mean I’m coping? Coming to terms? Forgetting? Moving on?
I think more than anything – I’m tolerating it. I have no choice but to. But this Christmas like last isn’t the same. It won’t ever be again. I hate this new way of life we’ve all been forced to adjust to and accept. A new normal is empty without her.
The festive period – one that you share with your loved ones. But when one is missing it’s incredibly hard to paint on a smile even with little ones. I miss her dreadfully but I won’t be putting out an extra chair. The whole room will be aching regardless. I miss her so very much. Be kind to those hurting this Christmas. Don’t tell them to “not be a Scrooge” or to “cheer up” It’s hard. And I’m trying my best but no matter how many years go by, an extra chair or not – there will always be a massive empty place in my heart.