One of Those Families, In Winter

Winter used to be my favourite time of year,
and now it's tainted by your absence.

Your birthday falls in October,
but no matter how many times we gather,
you're never here to blow out your candles,
or to eat your cake.

Your death came on November 23rd,
the same month that your youngest daughter grows older each year,
and we stop moving for a while at that time, in the run up to Christmas, to mourn,
to visit your grave,
to all get together, and to be, as a family.

Then it's Christmas, suddenly, again,
your favourite holiday,
and I try not to think about what gifts you would have wanted,
because buying them would mean delivering them to a grave,
and even Santa doesn't make that trip.

I fill my mother's stocking,
because you're no longer here to do it,
and I wear the hat from my cracker,
because you always did,
and kept it until New Year, even, when you'd wear it again.

I try not to cry when my Mum mentions you,
because of course she does, and will, again, this year round,
and I feel grateful that I still have most of my family left.

But this year we'll be missing another person.
our family will grow smaller still.
my sister has left us,
not like you did, through illness, but through choice,
because we weren't enough for her anymore.
I've lost my closest sibling, friend, soul,
to her own unhappiness,
to her own idiocy, to a devil man,
and it makes me wonder how many more Christmases there are to come in which another soul disappears from our midst,
as each member of my family leaves me,
one by one.

Are we one of those families,
that everything happens to?
are we destined to be ruined by sickness,
and distance,
and human errs?
i'm haunted by the love that I keep giving to people,
who keep slipping away,
and I can't stand it.

Please, somehow, if you can, stop the loss.
the pain.
let me have one more Christmas lifted straight out of a book,
one more Christmas perfectly made for childhood memories,
one more Good One to hold on to as I grow up,
and face all the sad, disappointing ones that litter the horizon of my future.
let December be easier for me, this time.
let winter be a haven, this year, not a wasteland, filled with the love I'm forced to recycle.

Just...think of me,
from afar,
wherever you are.
Just don't be gone,
Be with us, somehow,
so our numbers aren't depleted,
so my love can find you again,
on our favourite holiday,
the day we both love.

I'll be waiting for a sign.

Written 07/10/07