Taking stock

So  in normal circumstances I’d be sharing experiences from our life in Italy, or telling you about some little-known aspect of Italian culture. But circumstances remain far from normal, for it is still barely three weeks since Tim’s beloved mum died unexpectedly. And losing a parent remains surely one of life’s most challenging rites of passage; I know from my own experience that no matter how grown-up the child or how elderly or poorly the parent, the shock is immense and the loss immeasurable. So, with minds numbed by shock and spirits dulled by pain, it was a time for reflection and remembering and not for anecdotes or trivia.

A week later and there was still just a tangled mess of words and thoughts and feelings that refused to coalesce into orderly sentences and paragraphs, and that still lay trapped beneath the crushing blanket of sadness that continued to envelope us. Weighed down by sorrow, it felt as if our veins had been filled with lead. Every movement was an effort, every thought a struggle and performing even the simplest tasks became a challenge. The fatigue was overwhelming, but while brief interludes of dreamless, motionless sleep did provide some relief, all too often pain and loss prodded us into prolonged periods of restless wakefulness.

Another week on, and with the rituals and formalities of death now behind us, the long search for a new normality has begun. Sleep remains elusive, so fatigue and mental fog persist. But there is at least some sense that little by little we are starting to find our way out from beneath that dark blanket of sadness and to edge towards the light…

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