Well to be honest the hardest thing about Christmas has been the guilt about the relief of mum not being here - and how pleasant and nice it was without her. A lovely, relaxed, very little stress day without mum. No need to work around whether she will be there or not, no need to worry about her being jealous because I'm talking to someone else. It was pleasant.
I realised this was how it was leading up to Christmas - and to be honest, for me the hardest thing was coming to terms with that and also of course therefore the various comments about "I'll be thinking of you today without Lyn" etc have been quite hard to deal with. Don't get me wrong - I appreciate the places the comments come from but frankly unless people have been clear that they mean "in the mixed picture that it is", those words spoken in care have been unhelpful rather than helpful. They have just added to the guilt that I've already been wrestling with.
But this is how it is in much bigger ways than just Christmas - it is my reality. While I am really thankful for so much of mum's role in my world - I wouldn't be here without her and that's pretty profound and what much of my grief has been about (think back to the way I talked about my grief as the "breaking of the umbilical cord"), life is easier and less complex than if she was around. And I'm sure that is true for her. As I said in my eulogy - her pain is now gone ... and that includes the pain she caused others (and the pain that then caused for herself).
So hesitantly I say I'm at peace with her not being around ... and growing in peace with my thankfulness for that. She knows peace she's never known before - why should I feel guilty about loving that fact and the consequences of that for me?!