Last Christmas, Tom was in hospital. He was dying by inches. He was on a ward, right next to the nurses’ station. All day, every day, in the run up, he had to endure endless Christmas hits blasting out, with absolutely no escape from it. All the fake jollity and tinsel. Absolutely no quarter given for the dying.
On Christmas Day, this day, last year, I arrived for my 1 hour. That was all that was allowed, “due to Covid”. I had put on a special dress that Tom had bought me. The hospital was pretty deserted. The ward was quiet and the torture music was finally off. Tom was asleep. His fellow patients told me that he had been treated really roughly by a nurse the night before. So, I spent time with Tom, holding his hand and telling him family news and that I loved him and would protect him. I then went to see the ward manager to find out more about the bullying and instigated an investigation. I went back to see Tom, who was still asleep, before my hour was up.
Today, this Christmas Day, everyone wants jolliness and fun, crackers and presents, chocolates and champagne. Silly hats. Silly stories. No-one wants grief or long faces. The unbereaved can’t relate to us. They simply don’t get it.
For everyone wearing your Christmas mask to get through the day, I am with you. I know exactly how you feel. While I know Tom is close and near, it is right here that I need him and dearly wish he was.
Hold on, everyone, this day will pass.