( Sidenote: I wrote this last year on another site, and I'm reposting it here for posterity. )
The last few weeks have been pretty rough for me. My father's health deteriorated further, while I battled illness in order to get a work project completed on time. After several scares and paramedic call-outs, we reached the point where end-of-life care was initiated, on Friday 21st, the Winter Solstice. My father passed away in the early hours of Saturday 22nd, with his family around him.
Our Christmas celebrations have been pretty low-key as a result. For the most part, we are recovering and resuming our lives, which have been on hold to varying degrees for most of 2018.