“We’re in the middle of nowhere”
“There are no islands”
“How do we know if we are lost?”
Comments from the children on the deck of a ferry across the Irish Sea a few days after Herself’s funeral.
We were going to meet up with Nana and Grandad in a house in South West England. This was meant to be a happy, jolly gathering to celebrate Grandad’s 70th. Somehow, I now feel it will be days of rest and recovery, licking our wounds. I probably won’t realise what’s happened until I get back to some sort of ‘normality’, though that will be something new, a different world to negotiate.
I won’t have to arrange buses or call carers or wonder if the OT has made any progress at getting the wheelchair adapted. I won’t have to talk to the social worker or any of the nurses. I won’t have to panic when the phone rings at night. I won’t need to pretend that we need a second car, and look longingly at these. I won’t have to cry when I come off the phone, having failed to understand what my mother is telling me. I won’t have to shop for clothes, shoes or undies for Herself. Not even a toothbrush.
What am I going to do? Who am I going to talk to during those afternoons? What about the Handsome Husband, the Auntie, the Good Friend, the Brother? Herself was woven into their everyday worlds: how do we work around the gaps?
Mind you, my first priority is clear- we’re having a fancy dress birthday party and I need to figure out what to wear! No dressmakers on site: just my imagination. Be afraid. Be very afraid.