I keep collapsing into a ball of tears, mourning my father's departure (as far as euphemisms for death go, that one is bearable, don't you think?) back in September. It was followed swiftly by that of a close friend, Kate, an accomplished artist whose personal kindnesses to me had, over the years, become impossible to keep count of.
When I was just eight years old, Christmas Day came to have a different, bittersweet meaning for me, compared to most lucky souls. Because when I was meant to be celebrating my eighth birthday (yes, I was born on 25 December), my Uncle Eddie, who lived next door, and to whom I was extraordinarily close, passed away in the early hours of that morning.
Celebrating a life can lighten the pain of loss - sharing special moments of meaning, private and public. Mixing numbness, heart break, tears of pain and the longing to hold, talk, see, hear the other just on more time with pride, joy and gratitude for what we have experienced with and because of the other, who has gone.
There have been several major deaths recently - singer Lou Reed, broadcaster John Cole and composer Sir John Tavener spring immediately to mind. As the former obituaries editor at BBC News and now a freelance obituary writer, I know from experience the pronounced feeling of self-satisfaction such deaths engender if you have prepared the obituaries in advance.
How difficult it can be at times to spot your grief for mummy. While we quite rightly do not use it as an excuse for every minor indiscretion, it is at times so glaringly obvious that the very worst you can ever throw at me is undeniably a direct consequence of the turmoil you occasionally feel inside. Yet although I know and accept its origins, why do I always allow it to hit me so personally and so deeply?
Dunc liked to play music loud, whatever the genre, and I often found myself becoming slightly irked by the volume, particularly if I'd had a busy day or was feeling stressed. As a result, I was surprised that I felt the need to listen to a lot of music, and at quite some volume, in the early days following Dunc's death.