It’s come round to Christmas already and this is our first since Milo died. I miss Milo every single day and if I thought I had got used to missing Oscar, so therefore I would quickly find a way also of living without Milo, then I must admit I was terribly wrong. And that’s the thing with the children you have, they are all so different so of course it makes sense that you miss them in different ways and also in different situations. I actually struggle a little at the moment with sharing the grief between the two of them – yes I am well aware it’s ridiculous as it’s not like they are here to feel the difference – which makes the whole thing even harder.

Our lives are now split up into sections: before Oscar got sick, before Oscar died, before Ian got sick, before Ian died, before Milo got sick and before and after Milo died. Writing this makes me feel so sorry for Sebastian and Lucas. What a burden to carry from young adults all the way through life, it seems overwhelming beyond reason. Hearing Lucas respond to me when I ask him a normal question regarding some school issues with “Mum, my brothers and dad have died I think I know how to pretend to be happy when I am sad all the time” hurts me so much.

But knowing he hurts more is almost crushing me. Here I am thinking I am doing really well building a somewhat new life for the boys and I, yet it’s that old picture of the duck looking all calm above water but underneath the legs are spinning around at top speed that comes to mind. My boys, and to be fair me as well, are looking good on the outside, yet underneath the surface we are fighting to keep afloat. Dramatic, I know. I feel a little dramatic at the moment. My dad has been taken to hospital with a big bleed on the brain so you’ll forgive me for feeling like the world is crashing around us again. This was going to be our first calm Christmas for about 8 years where we could breathe a little, reflect a little and just feel some love. It would also in a strange way be nice to be able to just sit down and miss Milo, Oscar and Ian.

But despite all this, we are home with my family and for that I am thankful. I have a new great job which challenges me and more importantly I have fantastic colleagues who I really enjoy being around. I was worried about starting work and telling people my story. It is incredibly difficult to know if you should or should not say anything and ultimately it is my decision how to approach this. The Danes are nothing if not great at minding their own business. I was warned before coming back home that Danes (and here I generalise greatly) don’t like show of emotions unless of course you are close friends. I don’t think this is necessarily odd for most people to feel a little uncomfortable with strong emotions on display. I have proceeded with caution but of course found situations where it’s felt natural to mention what has happened and other times maybe even been too comfortable just blurting it out, of course ensuring people have absolutely no idea what to say to me. I have also been positively surprised – the Danes are not emotionally cold to strangers as I had been led to believe but rather listening and responding with openness. Yes I am aware I am myself Danish, but other countries perception of you and your fellow people is often not how we perceive ourselves.

This Christmas month has been spent between visiting my dad in hospital, my work and the children trying to make it as lovely as possible – after all I had promised the boys a lovely normal Christmas. I saw this quote on Facebook and oh how it fits: “When your day is going too well and you don’t trust it and some shit finally goes down. Ah, there it is The Fuckening”.

I’m in the frame of mind where I wonder who could think their life is so bad compared to mine and think about how they would cope if they maybe swapped with my life for a day. Wow, there it is again, the self pity. If you could see me, you would see that I am rolling eyes at myself. I honestly don’t really walk around feeling sorry for myself (although I will never stop feeling bad for the boys) but I do catch myself every so often looking at other families and thinking that I hope they truly know just how lucky they are. But then again what do I know of someone else’s sorrows?

Just sometimes I watch myself in a room full of people and you wouldn’t have a clue that perhaps in that moment I am not the happy smiling person I portray, although in all fairness most times I actually am. I don’t think I can explain this very well but I think I perhaps make more of an effort to enjoy every moment I am in in a very conscious way and that makes it easier to feel happiness. It just doesn’t really take a lot for me to be happy these days. There is no searching for more all the time because I already know what the less is. So for me moments with the boys just watching a Christmas movie or dancing around to Ian’s old vinyls and singing loudly, or an evening with old friends drinking too much; well that’s enough to keep me going. It isn’t the big unobtainable dreamy things that makes me feel happy and alive, it’s all the normal things I do with people who I genuinely think are brilliant to be around. And I feel so privileged to have so many people who, it would seem, also enjoy being around me. How lucky am I!

Merry Christmas everyone