For so many the days have been so long. I haven’t met many who are not either working ridiculous long days, or have lost all work all together. Very few have been given the gift of time and financial stability, so this has been tough on each and every one of us in a myriad of ways.
I no longer have taken pleasure in the sunrise, the sunset, the positivity of the early day. I have found myself in this deep vacuum of existence, rolling from my bed to the laptop only breaking for meals and captured moments to walk Jazz. To survive the pace and demands of work I’ve started at 6am for a run at actually doing the work before the back to back zoom calls begin, often through to 6 or 7 in the evenings by which stage I’m pretty useless for anything much. I have felt hugely disorientated, likening this feeling only to the long haul of flying to New Zealand – I feel like I am constantly on the flight, never able to get off.
I’ve been been working remotely and through zoom for a couple of years now, but never at this pace with no time or context change of the occasional travel or meetings in person. We have had to learn new techniques for building relationships and working together online in ways we never have made allowances for before. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work and it has been incredible in so many ways – I’ve learnt so much, the business has grown and I have grown in experience, but it is too early, and we are still in it, to make sense of how I can reflect on this time.
I have felt so disconnected from life pre Mums death and lockdown. The world has changed on every level and for me physically, emotionally, creatively. I have felt physically both exhausted but also quite battered. This has not been through some incredible home fitness programme, but more a physical response to grief and the cognitive demands of home school and work. The weeks have brought a new grief, a grief for Dad and the realisation that both parents have gone. This feels strangely such a huge responsibility – there are no parents to connect me to my past, to connect the dots of who and why I am me.
Memories of mum have been so vivid with very specific physical feelings of her physical presence and embrace, very specifically of seeing and touching her hands. I no longer replay those last few days and hours but a start of feeling her presence and perhaps acceptance. We have much of her belongings now in our home. She feels closer and connected through everyday things.
We talk about Mum as part of our everyday, and I assume this is healthy and what we are supposed to do. There have been no hidden tears, no shame in admitting this is tough and I don’t know what to do. The boys have been fabulous through this strange time. We have had no online school or not connection with teachers and friends, and yet they seem to be okay, and seem to have been content and happy in themselves. Their only online interaction is music lessons, and indeed the instruments have finally been in good use – we’ve had indoor and outdoor concert. together with stage lighting, sound, tickets and a bar.
School work has been tough, and without the time to give to them myself, I’ve hoped for the best. Of course all our children have learnt other things. Skills in working remotely, planning their work, finding their own rhythms of the day. The dog has been walked off her paws, and we have discovered more paths and walking circuits than we have ever allowed ourselves time for before.