When I lost my Grandad around this time last year, I didn't think I would ever be able to talk about it without dissolving into tears. Grief is a raw, savage emotion that rips you apart and then stomps on all the broken pieces - at the time you think you will never get through the next moment let alone the next year.
I still cannot talk to my family in great depth about him because their grief on top of mine is still too much to bear but I can sit and remember the good times, think of him fondly and miss him with a smile in my heart. The human spirit is capable of such great things, we (collectively) survive great hardship and bear huge burdens all in the day-to-day run of life.
We adapt ourselves, adjust our life to deal with the hole within it and learn to live on and over time, that great healer, it no longer hurts as much as it did. The loss is still great and the sorrow is still felt but the hurt goes away. Perhaps we adapt to ensure that we don't feel the hurt anymore, a inbuilt protection mechanism of sorts. It works well, it takes time for it to settle into place, but it works well.
This new years I hope to be able to raise a glass to my Grandad and wish him well. There might be a tear at my sadness in not being able to be with him but the pain of loss is gone and for that I am truly grateful.