How Christmas was

Some of you will know that this is the first Christmas since my father died, in June 2008. He had severe dementia, and died from a complication of Alzheimer’s disease, but very peacefully, in a hospital which turned out to have a very good reputation for palliative care.

This was also the year that a greatly valued friend unexpectedly had to leave the country, shortly after my father’s funeral. The government had for several months been boasting about how much better their new immigration rules would be at keeping people out of the country. Unfortunately they brought the “improved” rules shortly before she was due to renew her visa, and her application was rejected (wrongly, a lot of us believed, but an appeal is difficult and expensive). She had joined us at my sister’s house for the previous Christmas.

So I wasn’t at all sure how Christmas Day would be this time, and wasn’t looking forward to it very much.

One consequence of my father’s death has been that I’ve had less energy for certain things, so this year I allowed myself not to send Christmas cards if it felt too demanding, and so on. My feeling was that people would understand and that it was better to let myself enjoy Christmas than to let it become burdensome.

People did send me cards though 😉 and there were some nice surprise ones from people I’d not heard from for a long time, so one of the nicer tasks of the New Year is to get back in touch with them 🙂

In the event, Christmas was fine. We went to my sister’s as has been usual for the last few years. Both my nephews were there, with partners and with my four-year-old great-niece. I felt I’d done the right thing with the cards. It was a nice relaxed day. We remembered to watch the new Wallace and Gromit film (A Matter of Loaf and Death).

I’m still not quite ready for it to be 2009, and I’m definitely not ready to be 46 (my birthday was a few days ago), but as you can see I’m sort of back here again… I hope you all had good Christmases too, and that you enjoy 2009.

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