It's the end of Boxing Day and we did it. We made it through Christmas without Felix. I think I got through because a sort of numbness and disbelief set in again, like when he first died. I had a sense of disconnection from the whole thing. Perhaps it's because Christmas is all about age-old rituals and these rituals are strong and definite and bring into relief whatever is happening at the time. Here we were again doing things we always do at this time of year, getting a tree, going to Mass, eating turkey, singing carols, it just didn't seem possible that Felix wasn't there. Christmas highlighted and accentuated his absence, and I went into numb mode again.
On Christmas Day we went to see him at his burial place which my brother James calls 'the green hill far away'. Alex, Lucian and I stood there in the roaring gale and opened our present to him, and left him some mince pies under his tree. Earlier I had had a morning dip with Yaara at Ladies' Pool, which was pointy-daggers cold, our limbs pricked by the icy water. Today I swam in the West Dart, in a swollen, fast moving pool. As my body entered the water I felt myself shrinking back to a sort of visceral essence of being, rewinding back to Felix when he was part of my body, part of me, grown from me. Momentarily I felt connected back to him, then there was nothing.