We always talk as though life happens gradually, and sometimes it does. More often, it bumps and startles. We plan and prepare, work hard, get really busy and then suddenly it is very still. There's a moment when we are caught off balance. It's over.
That's how it feels the day that it's finally time to take down the Christmas tree. You put the lights on one last time, and think about how quickly it all went. The full house is quiet. There is no more. Every year, the same readiness to get back to normal - until it happens.
You think - it's silly to be sad. I knew this would happen. It always does. But we are creatures who come with an end date, and every ending reminds us that time is one thing we can't hold and can't increase and can't replace.
It's always a little shock when it's over.