Before all this started, I was seized with the irrational urge to find a new screensaver, one that is not all hummingbirds and pink, fuzzy flowers. After an extensive search through lots of cute categories, my eyes fasten irresistibly on this image of a fragile, narrow-limbed bridge –or one very like it – arching mirror-like across water, to produce an illusion of circularity. I like arches, bridges and images like this, signifying change, completion…

For the next few days, images of ancient, arching stone bridges seemed to meet me everywhere: in newspapers, on the news, which I think a little odd. Was God sending me all these pictures because I decided to change my screensaver image?

Then a worrying phone-call comes through from my mother,  extremely – and very unusually – tearful, mentioning death, and worrying that we will not meet again, saying I must not grieve too much. So I decide to go to France to be with her, ask my older sister if she can come too, and pack my bag, living in a frenzy of worry in case my mother should die suddenly, miserably, alone and afraid. I cannot wait for Friday, to get the plane, meet my sister and travel to be with my mother, whom we find sitting in a chair, tearful, bored and cold. Thank God are able to be with her, to offer reassurance, warmth, companionship and love. I discover that in her frailty I love her more than I thought possible, my heart almost bursting between compassion, sorrow and joy.

I’m going back to France tomorrow to be with my mother for another week. So I hope you will excuse my lack of action here, my inability to engage with social media much. My grief is peculiar, as if I can’t quite believe it is happening to me. But of course, we all have to move on, change and adapt with circumstances; and my mother – my family – would not feel encouraged if I spend all my time in tears. So I weep on planes, wishing that these wells of grief might come at more convenient times.

I’ll be back as soon as possible. Meantime, thanks for reading.

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