Jingle bells plays in the background. In the living room lots of jostling and jabbering going on. Jovial conversation, fills the air, as friends and family come and go. The last of the Christmas gifts being placed under the jam-packed tree. Cousins, uncles and aunts jubilantly singing along full of holiday spirit and holiday spirits! A perfectly joyous Maxwell House moment. Did we jinx it all by not acknowledging how ephemeral it all could be? Snugly jammed, on the sofa, between my sister and my favourite cousin, enjoying all the noise and antics, who could have imagined that we would soon be jolted into a cycle of death; unable to jump-start our hearts again for years to come. Some family members joined forces during the worst of it, while others just up and left never to be heard from again. Juggling pain and the everyday was justifiably hard. Harder still was trying to understand who or what was playing judge and jury with our lives. Why had it all been jeopardized? No justification. We became emotional jailbirds, no longer able to jest and laugh easily as before. Harsh judgements, jaundiced views and jealousy for those not experiencing our grief marked our journey at that time. A jarring juxtaposition to the carefree and jolly times.