It’s a reflective time, and certainly a strange one.
People are wishing me a Happy Christmas full of good cheer and bonhomie and all I can think about is a funeral to arrange. Christmas seems a long way away………
I open the cards that the postman brings, and am not prepared for what is there inside. A mix of the expected “Have a Happy Christmas full of sparkle and merriment” along with the sentiments of “So sorry to hear that you’ve got divorced but all the best for the future” and the “So sorry to hear the sad news about your Mum and we’re thinking of you at this sad time” cards. I put them in two seperate places within the same room. To keep them apart. Happy and Sad.
Never the two shall meet.
But then, aren’t they actually saying the same thing?
I think they are.
They are saying that people care, that they are thinking of me, and want to tell me so via a few words in a card. They are passing on love in various forms.
And isn’t that what life is all about?
Death and illness are a huge part of life. But illness can be a terrible thing and hard to live with in the long term. Death will come to us all, its just hoping that we donâ€™t suffer too much when we get there! Weâ€™re born, and we die, its just that we hope for some happy times inbetween â€“ which is where love comes in. Love of life, love of things that make us happy, love of experiences and places, love of material things and less tangible ones. And love of people. That is the one that brings it all together â€“ that is what life is ALL about.
I am ever the eternal optimist which has brought me joy, even when things are bad (like this year!) there have been lots of really good times too â€“ it just depends on how you look at life. I avoid being around negative people as much as I can, as they will try and suck the positives out of you and bring you down to their miserable level. I look at the glass as always being â€œhalf fullâ€ rather than â€œhalf emptyâ€. I am also a realist though â€“ and know that you canâ€™t have good things all the time (and how boring life would be if we did!) â€“ but its accepting the bad and dealing with it when it arrives, but trying to avoid it the best we can in the meantime too. And looking for the silver linings in clouds as they are always there to be found.
So, a funeral is obviously a very sad time. But it is also bringing along with it the renewed bond of old friends and close cousins, uncles and aunts, and new friends too. All special in their own unique way.
Which brings me to the kindness of family and friends.
Thankyou my friends for thinking of me, I think of you in turn as I read your words, and that brings me close to you.
My Mum would have loved that.
And I do too.