The mother of murdered soldier Lee Rigby has told how she has finally found peace this Christmas following the brutal death of her son.
For the past four years, Lyn Rigby has been consumed by grief after her 25-year-old son was stabbed to death outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south London, in May 2013.
But while previous Christmases have been about “going through the motions” for the sake of her grandchildren, this year, she said, will be different.
She told the Sunday People: “This year I feel we will be celebrating for the first time since he left us.
“It’s hard to explain but I feel as if Lee is guiding us and telling us it’s time to get on with our lives and have some happiness.”
The turning point, she said, was moving into a new home in the country, where she feels “closer” to her son “than ever before”.
On Christmas Day, the family will raise a glass to Fusilier Rigby, knowing that he would want them to be happy again, she said.
Remembering how he kept the family entertained on their last Christmas together, she added: “Lee will be with us in his own way and we will all laugh at his antics on his last Christmas with us.
“It won’t be as noisy or crazy without him but we do have something very precious this year: the Christmas gift of peace.”
Fusilier Rigby was murdered by Muslim extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in a killing which shocked the nation.
The pair mowed him down before butchering him to death on the streets of Woolwich.
They are thought to have targeted him because of his connection with the armed forces.
Since his death, the family have set up the Lee Rigby Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting those suffering from bereavement or loss, or helping those in mental or physical distress.
Part of this work has included opening Lee Rigby Lodge, a four-bedroom retreat in the Staffordshire countryside where bereaved military families can seek some solace.
Mrs Rigby told the paper she expects to welcome the first guests next year, vowing to “make sure some good comes out of Lee’s terrible murder”.