THIS WAS THE YEAR.

This was the year.

This was quite the year.

This was the year that my mum died; that my mum died. My mum died.

This was the year that the rug was swept from under us and we plunged into raging currents of grief.

This was the year that I held onto the word resilience like a life-line; willing it to come to me.

This was the year of 'Option B', of 'Braving the Wilderness', of Psalms and prayers and weary utterances into what felt like the big dark void.

This was the year of boundaries; lines drawn thick around what matters most.

This was the year of no sleep.

This was the year of letting go of disappointments; of friends really showing up and of neighbours becoming like family.

This was the year of defaulting to productivity; of taking too much on and burning out. This was the year of seeing that coming but doing it anyway. This was the year of learning the hard way.

This was the year of clinging to things that brought joy; of Assembly Gatherings, people around our table, of jubilant toddlers and writing my guts out.

This was the year of underlying sadness, of ever-present grief - like an open app, draining the battery in the background. 

This was the year of people remembering; of a quick text message, a missed call, a tag in an article. 

This was the year of marriage refinement; for better or worse, saying hard things, holding space, picking up slack, wading through the muddy waters of parenting whilst dealing with great loss. 

This was the year of telling the truth; of asking for help, of being vulnerable with those that have earned it.

This was the year of recognition; of Palaces and letters after names, of celebrations and fanciness.

This was the year of many other heavy things; of heart attacks and chemo, of divorce and disconnection.

This was the year of football goals and first steps; of Peppa Pig obsessions and independent six year olds. This was the year I no longer had a say in my sons fashion preferences (sports wear, all day long). 

This was the year of pride; of brave brothers and steadfast fathers; of all the intimate grief only we can know of together. 

This was the year of unravelling.

This was the year of survival.

This was the year.

This was quite the year.