This year my family lost the backbone of our little crew, my Nonna.
This year it’s a kind-of first Christmas for us. The first where her two kisses, one on each cheek, wont greet us at the door where you catch the first whiff of what’s to come. The first without her love and excitement to feed us the impossible amount of magical food she’s laboured for weeks to make us. The first where we don’t have “Nonna’s lasagne”. The first where she doesn’t tell Samuel he needs a haircut, or tell Dean he’s too skinny. The first where we aren’t all falling asleep on the couch while she tries to feed us grapes or cherries and ice-cream as a 7th course. The first where she doesn’t give us all boxes of Ferrero Rochers (just incase we aren’t already putting on 5kg from dinner) on-top of the other thoughtful gifts she has given us. The first where we aren’t each walking out the door with a polystyrene box full of left overs for the next week. The first without our caring, loving, selfless Nonna.
To give you some context, my family (on my Dad’s side) is small, at least in Australia it is. There
is was 7 of us. 7 of us for Birthdays, Easters, and my favourite time of year Christmas. I’m truly lucky to say that up until October, I’ve always had all four beautiful grandparents around, cheering me on in life, and just surrounding me with unconditional love always.
We lost her suddenly and unexpectedly, I’m still now sure how that sits with me- is it better this way for them and for us? Something I can’t quite answer yet.
Recently, I read an article that really resonated with me by Heidi Anderson (former Newcastle radio personality, currently residing in Perth) about her fear of death and her experience with her Nan passing away recently. Heidi talked about the unknown of “the other side” and if it is really just the end with nothing more. Sadly, I also don’t have the answer to that- i’m constantly looking for signs from my Nonna to tell me she is still around.
One thing I know for sure, is that she will be with us at Christmas dinner, laughing at how it took three of us to make a lasagne that still isn’t quite like hers, wishing Samuel would get a haircut, and telling us that enough really isn’t enough and we should eat more.
It’s a sad kind-of first Christmas, but it’s also bittersweet that we feel so heartbroken because it means we have had the blessing of such great memories to cherish of our Christmases with Nonna, and that’s more than a lot of people can say.
You can check out the piece by Heidi here..