There’s not a lot to say. It was Christmas. It was a good Christmas. It’s good to be with family on this most wonderful and most difficult of holidays.

Lauren has been on our minds a lot this week, and her names has been spoken aloud more than once. My parents bought her an ornament for the Christmas tree, which was nice, because Geordie and I had not been able to find one for her that we liked. She has been present here with us, and it has been less difficult than I expected. The first Christmas was so hard. This one has been comforting. I’m glad of that. It’s nice to have a quiet Christmas.

We’ve lost others this year, suddenly, unexpectedly. An aunt of Geordie’s. One of my great-uncles. These are griefs too, people who are missed, whose lives were cut off so abruptly. It’s hard to grasp, even now, that someone can be there and then suddenly be gone. How can anything be the same after that?

The truth is: it can’t. Nothing is the same, but we can’t stop living just because of that. We have to do our best to adjust, to remember those who have come into our lives and then passed through. The truth is that life is ever-changing, ever-flowing, and we must simply ride it out and live as best we can. Sometimes, we must mourn. Other times, we must celebrate.

And there are times when we must do both. We must balance ourselves, grieving for what we have lost and believing that there is good still yet to come. Our lost loved ones will not be forgotten, and they will always be missed, but we cannot change that they are gone. All we can do now is honor and love them – and remember them.

This Christmas, I remember the ones we have lost, the lives that have meant much to us, in some way or another. Though they are no longer here in physical form, the memory of them remains – the love we had for them, the memories of them that we hold close as mementos. I remember them, and I honor them, as I do with my daughter every single day.

The day has passed, and this day after Christmas is, for me, a chance for reflection, for contemplation. Only briefly, perhaps, because even today, I have things to do. But it’s important to take this moment, to remember.

Merry Christmas, to everyone who reads these words. To everyone who is thinking or has thought of loved ones lost, who are not here to celebrate this holiday of comfort and peace. May blessings find you, and may the rest of 2012 bring you gladness and well-being.

Bless you all.

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