First times are scary, and I'm not just talking about the obvious here - all kinds of first times are scary. The first time you go to work, the first time you realise you are all you've got, the first time you realise you need help. This weekend will be the first time I turn 30 (thankfully) but also the first time I have a birthday without my grandad.
Grief is a tricky animal, it leaps out at you when you think it is safely tamed and always, always catches you unawares. I don't know how I will be on the day but the very thought of sharing a happy day with my nearest and dearest is making me so so so so unbearably sad.
I don't want him to miss it.
Who will help me make humourous guesses at what is contained in the shiny paper? Who will I show all my cards to? Who will I take a moment to sit next to and discuss the merits of various gifts with? Who will I have a quiet birthday word with? Who will give me that birthday hug and smell just like him? Who will carry out the comedy heavy birthday cake act that no knife on this earth can penetrate?
There will be this huge void.
'The Family' are all coming. We are a small family so it is not difficult however it is unusual. And the last time everyone was all together was the funeral. So it won't just be my first time, it will be the first time for everyone else. This year was meant to be extra special as my Grandad hit the 80 mark and I hit the 30 mark - a joint celebration of generations, of loved family members and of special individuals.
I think there may be tears but I hope there will also be laughter and fond remembrance of a great man who is much loved and missed dreadfully.