Monday, September 03, 2007


I am still feeling distinctly odd, and embarassed by my reaction at the wake, my strange inability to talk to people. I can write, I need to write, but talking is hard. Today I replied to a lot of emails, then rebelled at being crunched over the computer on such a lovely day, thought stuff the housework, and went for a long walk in the sunshine. I walked for about 2 hours, realised I was hungry, ate some sushi, walked home. The world around me still feels unreal, like a film set. People move through it, smiling, talking on their mobiles, chiding their children, huffing as they wait for an overcrowded bus. I wonder what all of their stories are. What they are thinking about. What secrets they are hiding behind their public faces.

I am taking melatonin every night before I sleep, it knocks me out for four hours. Then I wake up every night, at 3.00am, crying. I take a sleeping tablet, wait for it to work. I lie awake 'til 6.30am, then fall asleep and have strange, anxious dreams. Sometimes the sheet is soaked with sweat. But in the day, I can't cry at all. There is a stone in my throat and an ache in my chest. Sometimes my head hurts as well. So I take paracetamol tablets for that too.

I tried drinking wine, but that just makes the headaches worse. Maybe walking for miles will work tonight. I hope so.

It's all out of kilter, as Pukeochic says. Worse for Dad. I think I would go under without J, who is still at work, poor thing. But he is there when I sleep and when I wake, and at weekends and he took a week off work to be with me through Mum's final illness. I feel very - mortal. Just because it is a rite of passage we all go through doesn't make it any easier. Writing helps. It's all I know how to do when bad stuff happens; it keeps my head above water. I'm writing for myself, to try to disentangle it all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what else to say other than I am sorry that your heart is being wrenched. My thoughts are with you.

September 04, 2007 12:09 am  
Blogger Dr. Deb said...

Thinking of you....

September 04, 2007 2:29 am  
Blogger Solaris said...

Everything you are describing is entirely understandable. I totally get the 'writing for release' thing, as I do it too. It seems to bring some structure and order to a chaos and a pain that otherwise has a scary unpredicatability to it. When I try and speak of the things I feel, they come out in the wrong way, or refuse to come out at all. So keep writing honey.

The other thought - and having read the book now where you say you're not a huge fan of therapy, I hesitate a little - is to go back to a therapist and try and get some safe, quiet space where you can try to let it out, where it can all make no sense at all, and where that can fine. And gradually find ways, with him/her of reassembling all the pieces of the jigsaw in a way that helps and brings some peace.

And the other thing, of course, is time. Your Mum's death is very recent, and it comes on top of everything else you've been through. The numbness is your feelings closing down to help heal you inside. They will return hon.

September 04, 2007 10:03 am  
Blogger Henry North London 2.0 said...

I spent a month in bed when James died in the Tube that fateful day after I found out two weeks later by reading the full death list in the ( shock horror) Daily Express.

I was lucky in only one respect I was already on antidepressants so they softened the blow to some extent.

Sleep was my way of closing down and trying to block it all out and then finding out what had happened much like you scouring the net for information and ways to connect.

It took me ten months for a 3 week relationship to be able to move on and it took 18 months before I wrote about it on the blog and its only now that I can face telling other people and not bothering about the emotions that it might raise. That's not to say that I'm going to shout it from the rooftops. Though if I'm guilty in that respect please let me know

For a relationship that has been forever in your eyes its going to take a decent amount of time I can't honestly say how much and wouldn't dare to either.

The last cremation I attended was in 1985 at the funeral of my father's father, my grandfather in London who passed away at the relatively young age of 74, and when I was fifteen and basically devastated me for quite a few months afterwards. I wouldn't have said that we were that close but he was nice to me and he did use to send a crisp one pound note( absolutely brand new no creases) and then latterly a five pound note in his birthday cards to me which was very very nice when I was a kid because I never had pocket money from my parents. Their excuse is that they saved it for university expenses.

Do whatever you need to, to grieve, to make sense and to scream at God/life /circumstances for taking your mother before you wanted or expected or even believed anything like this would happen.

We , your friends, your well wishers, your acquaintances and your book readers are all here and all wishing you well. Reach out if you need help.

Henry x

September 04, 2007 11:13 am  
Blogger Catlover said...

I don't know what else to add, apart from take care and know that here is another blog and book reader wishing you well and thinking of you. x

September 04, 2007 6:11 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

I am also thinking of you Rachel.

September 04, 2007 7:06 pm  
Blogger zoe said...

beware, sweetie, of the email that i sent you. we will be round with davide, quarsan and myself - oh, and some wine and plenty of hugs.

cry, baby, cry - it is so soul-relieving. and we'll be there as will your darling husband to protect you from us furreners ;)

thinking of you every night,

September 05, 2007 8:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have any place to say, or suggest, but I agree with Zoe. Perhaps if you could schedule a week or two to be a total wreck and not needed anywhere, it might be politic to allow the part of you that is trying to sob, to start and keep going until its finished. Unwind the rubber band in your toy aeroplane before it goes twang. Or other such naff and/or inappropriate analogy. Look after yourself, I guess, is what I was trying for.

Thank you for your comment at my blog; coming from you it was beyond a compliment.

September 07, 2007 10:13 pm  
Blogger Elaine said...

Dear Rachel - I am honoured to see my blog linked on your page as one you like to visit. I do hope you continue to enjoy it and that it helps to take yur mind off all your sorrows even if only for a minute. You are a brave woman and I send you my deepest sympathy on the loss of your mother. Mine is now 95 and I know that I may not have much longer with her and I appreciate and love her as much as I can while I have the chance to do so.

September 08, 2007 11:07 pm  
Blogger Debi said...

It's very early days - and in fact will continue to be so for a long time (which isn't as much of a contradiction as it sounds).

There are many phases to the grieving process, as you're finding out. The truth is it never goes away but you do get to a place where you have learned to live with it.

Try not to be hard on yourself and just give yourself some space of possible.

Sending love and hugs.

September 12, 2007 1:42 pm  

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