I’m back to work tomorrow after 3 months off.
It didn’t quite turn out the way I expected. I took the time off to help my mum through her treatment, but then she went and died on me after only a few weeks. I decided to the take time off anyway, to give me the space to adjust, to let things settle, as well as time to go through all her things and get the house ready to sell.
3 months on; the house is still unsold and we have sorted through only a fraction of her things. And the grieving? I’ve hardly started.
I’m lucky. Not everyone could have taken this time out. It’s given me the space to think, to digest and start to process all the memories, a finite store of memories now so precious to me. But like the house, I’ve merely scratched the surface.
For others life has moved on. People have stopped asking how I am, or they ask expecting some other, more mundane explanation. PMT or a difficult exchange with another mum at the school gates. For them, my mum’s passing is no longer headline news. For me the newsflash still plays over.
But life must return to normal. I have to earn money, start to contribute again.
Tomorrow I will get up and put on smart clothes and do my hair. I will get on the 8.02 train to Charing Cross and walk the 20 mins to the office. I will say hello to the same people, sit at my old desk, write a new list of things to do. I will plan and discuss and prioritise, just as I did before.
And yet nothing is like it was before. My world is altered like a refracted image in a cracked mirror. A distorted world that I am still struggling to make sense of.
I wonder if anyone will notice.