I came back to the Smoke tonight. MasterB is delighted. He travelled well, only a few cries as we left a sunny marina. I had been considering staying until tomorrow. Then I had an anxiety attack and could not get off das Boot. The water could not have been calmer, but committing myself to the pontoon seemed like jumping off a mountain. Eventually I managed it and the kind person who had done my washing helped me pack my stuff and leave. It was a slow journey home. I came via the back roads. Fields of Rape are ready to spring their acidic yellow across the landscape. Late lambs surprised and pleased me.
I was on my guard. I knew that my mind wanted to be elsewhere. I forced myself to concentrate. The petrol gauge looked low. I felt a few minutes of panic wondering where I could fill up. I remembered a station, and it worked. Crossing London was easier and quicker than I could have hoped. Home. A pile of post. I have opened some. A pile of birthday cards wishing me a happy day. Equally dislocating messages on the answer phone. Dead flowers.

I wanted to stay on das Boot. Felt I could stay there forever. A happy bubble where I would not have to accept the reality of Mother’s death. I think the anxiety was my conflict between wanting to stay there in the sunshine and the knowledge that I needed to face up to my responsibilities at home.
Like Mother I am independent. Asking for help is difficult. I should rather the whole marina does not know that I could not step onto the pontoon for a couple of hours. However, I suspect it will be common knowledge soon. Maybe that is not such a bad thing. I could probably learn a thing or three from Mother.


23 thoughts on “Re-entry

    • I followed my list and got things on it done, but did not include tidying the flat which is a mess. My bag is still half packed; I have paper everywhere, unopened post, including birthday gifts. The wasshing machine broke down and the hook fell off the back of the kitchen door. They can wait. Tomorrow a haircut.

  1. It takes strength to ask for help when we need it…..and people are happy to lend a hand. Getting back home has to feel somewhat surreal after the last weeks – “one step at a time” my friend.

    Hugs, Pam

    • Thanks Pam. would you Adam and Eve it – a new ginger, with bell, has turned up and is giving MasterB a hard time. I shall be out there with the waterspray to let him know whose garden this is!
      One step at a time is very good advice.

  2. Don’t be hard on yourself…you’ve been through a lot in the last few days. And people are usually more than glad to help. Take your time so that soon being home will really feel ‘like home’!

    • Thanks June. Once the paperwork for the funeral is done and I have thought a bit more about what I want to say I shall the pressure lessen I believe. We all feel we only have one chance to get it right. That includes whether or not to go back East to see Mother in the chapel of rest which we can do from Thursday.

  3. I’ve found that when I share these very large emotional moments, the enormity is discharged somewhat. Nothing *easy* about being so vulnerable….

    Asking for help at a time like this doesn’t take on the usual feelings–very unlike asking for help to bring the shopping up the stairs — because sometimes we don’t even know what help we need and must rely on other people to give us cues.

    The rubber-band-effect of emotionally charged moments requires the rubber band to un-stretch itself too. That process takes time…. lots of time….

    I have been thinking a lot about “expressive writing” and your last week or so.

    You remain in my thoughts, Isobel.

    • Hi Laurel
      The rubber-band-effect is a good description. I had wet sand barin for the first part of the day, but have been mainly composed since the afternoon. I put that down to gradually feeling that the preparations are almost in place.
      I’m not sure that I have been doing fits Pennebaker’s description, but it has helped me at the end of each day to sort and order events and emotions.I also find it comforting to know that, should I wish to, I can read back over the days leading to Mother’s death, without the blurred memories I have now.

      • The intent behind Pennebaker’s assertions shows up in your heartfelt writing, Isobel.

        You were the one who told me many, many months ago that my blogging would serve as a record for me and you were spot on. You have done the same thing for yourself.

        It’s so complicated: big emotion to have, but practical matters to attend to that surround the emotion. Emotion on, emotion off. Kinda hard on the rubber-band-y-ness of ourselves!

        I was thinking about your panic attack about leaving the boat–seems like a profoundly correct response, Isobel. A safe and small place to be, with a loving fuzzy companion. I know it took fortitude to leave that.

        Your writing about your Mum has pierced me to my soul–and I’m not alone in that experience– I can see that from your commenters.

  4. I feel for you, dear heart. Losing my mom less than three years ago, I still reach for the phone or to do something to do with her. Your writings are so real, feel them to the core, wish I could do more than simply say, I send you love and healing comforts from afar. xo

    • That is so familiar. It is not something I have been able to do with Mum for quite a while, but for ages after my father died I kept thinking, ‘I must ask Dad..’ Then realised that I couldn’t. When I saw Mother today, I read her two poems. Obviously she didn’t hear them, but it was for my healing too. So reading poetry somewhere, with others, is going to be part of Mother’s legacy to me.

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