Last night I bought a Christmas tree. It was the first time I've bought one without Liane since 2011. Five years of tree buying makes it a ritual in my book - something to look forward to, to enjoy and to do with someone special. This year that's so different. I walked through rows of trees in the same place we bought our tree last year. I went with my mum who left me the space to go in alone. It hit home so many times -maybe most driving home not in Liane's Micra Oliver with the tree taking up over half the space in the car.
Decorations from the attic. Dressing the tree. Gathering the firewood. Digging up the playlist. No mulled wine this time around.
The month is only 5 days old and the pain is repeated and building. I have decided on an approach for this year - facing it all full on. No changes in routine, no new manoeuvres or cancelling of traditions. I love this season and have done for many years. It will be different this year in a deeply sad way but the love of family and friends will likely be more obvious and warmer than ever before. To that I look forward. For the now painful rituals I brace myself. What else can I do?