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Indeed, Christmas is a special time of year. But it’s also tremendously difficult for many, including myself. It’s a time for peace and reconciliation. A time for family and friends to come together and celebrate life, in all its glory.

Sadly we all endure loss at one time or another. So this is also a time to remember those loved ones whom can’t be here to share the magic of Christmas, as their place remains unseated at the table.

I think when you have experienced such deep sadness from loss, it certainly changes the way we see everything and everyone around us. Yes, it makes us thoroughly appreciate what we have. After all, we have the gift of life. But I feel one aspect of loss we tend to brush aside, is that feeling of emptiness and actually feeling very negative about life as a direct result of our grief. We tend to try and remain positive for the sake of our friends as well as our own sanity.

By no means do I believe it is wrong, selfish or cowardly to feel this way. In fact I believe that it’s a taboo subject we should address more than we actually do. For example, at what point does a person stop grieving? Do we actually stop grieving at all? There always seems to be a point where the ‘time’ to grieve has passed, and people around us no longer tread quite so lightly around us. From experience, I always feel that this is the point where you ask yourself if everybody has forgotten? It certainly seems that way…

I do know however, that despite time being a great ‘healer’ as they say, Christmas time is very rarely an easier time when we think of those passed.

I hope that when you read this, you are coming to the end of a wonderful year. But for some, there are many obstacles to overcome in life, and this year may have been one of them. And I think you could agree that no matter how uplifting our friends or family try to be, no matter how positive we usually are, or how positive we know we should be, it’s pretty impossible sometimes to see beyond the hurt. All I can tell you is that YES it will get better, but it takes time.

As I have got older, admittedly I have found it increasingly difficult to jump back up from a knock down. Whether it is health, money or relationships, it does seem to get harder and take that little bit more time to ‘recover’. The difficulty is, that when you begin to realise that life just keeps on throwing hurt at us, no matter how much you try and stay positive, you kind of know it’s inevitable. That every now and then, things just don’t go the way we’d like them and we have to face life. And what else can we do but deal with it?…

But the biggest question I find myself asking more and more, is ‘what’s the point?’ why do I bother even trying to be positive when things inevitably go wrong. What is there to look forward to? The same mundane routine? With a bit a drama added in here and there?

It’s easy to feel this way isn’t it? And I would guess that many of us if not all of us have had these thoughts. There is no answer I’m afraid. There’s no magic wand to make everything better all of the time. ..but. What we can do is focus on these experiences, however difficult they may be, in order to learn from them and move forward in life in the best possible way that we can. It sounds easy to say this, I know.

But really embrace the highlights of your life, no matter how small. And take each day one step at a time. And never be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone when you feel ready and try something new. That something new, might just change your life…