There is less than an hour to go till Christmas Day and I am still coming to terms with having to spend it on my own. I will need to get a move on because I do not want to wake up tomorrow feeling like an invisible human being.
Christmas has not been cancelled in the same way that the moon and sun cannot be cancelled. It will happen tomorrow, 25th of December. I, on the other hand, am feeling cancelled. Spending Christmas alone just does not fit into the narrative of the season even if common sense dictates that it does.
The announcement of London going into Tier 4 caught me and my family out. As a result, for the first time since my daughter was born in 1999, I will not be celebrating the day as a family unit.
Like any other mother, there are certain days of the year on which my motherhood pivots. Christmas being one. My Christmas day existence is tied up with family. Instead, I am watching them on our daily WhatsApp video calls prepare for the day while I am bedding down for a ‘Home Alone’ experience. I am not referring to the movie either.
There is something sad about the prospect. My family are alive and well, but we cannot be together. On the other hand, there will be families facing Christmas without a close member who succumbed to Covid this year. I must say that my sadness is reserved first and foremost for them. While my loneliness will only be deeply felt for one day, their loss is a lifetime felt. I may find a positive out of spending Christmas Day alone. However, there is no positive from losing a loved one. The only way forward is to learn to cope without that person’s presence. That is not easy.
All in all, I am telling myself that my experience will be fleeting and will last the time of waking hours. If nothing else, it will be an experience akin to character development. Being thrown back on myself, digging deep to find inner resources and having the time to get started on those personal projects which I have planned for 2021.
Life does throw some funny curve balls at you. Who would have thought that with all the medical advancements made over the years that we would be tripped up by a global pandemic? People cross international borders all the time. Now, here we are confined by a tiering system within our national borders. In fact, our world has become so narrow that our confinement is a micro experience. Staying within national borders is a macro experience but staying within the four walls of your home is a new and micro one.
Others have spent Christmas alone in the past. Many others like me will be doing the same tomorrow. Remembering what my blessings are like having a roof over my head and my health will keep me going. And remembering that this isolation this year is caused by a supervening event – the virus. My advice to others it not to let this sense of loneliness morph into something else like rejection.
Somethings truly are beyond our control.