It occurred to me today that working in an office in Uganda is not so different that working in an office in London… it’s just that the internet connection here would try the patience of a saint whereas in London that role is played by the Tube. The world is almost unnervingly joined up.
But my small world illusion is crumbling – soon here there will only be internet access for set hours (and all working hours), blinking red light allowing. The thought has me feeling twitchy, an addict on part-time cold turkey, forced to ask what it is that is needed so badly.
But I know what it is that I crave. These posts help me know myself, share myself. When you write back I feel I am heard. Even when I don’t write the page structure my thoughts, gives me commas to pause and places to stop. This blank page that fills, that takes shape, helps me cope when all seems to be chaos.
There are days when I wonder if that is a good thing, whether I am leaning too much on this virtual shoulder.
I wonder if I browse like some people drink. Whether I seek too much solace in this screen, my opening up when all doors are closed, my connection when I feel far away.
It is strange to look for the same faces, same avatars, to feel you are familiar although for the most part we have never met. I wonder how you are and where your paths are taking you and yet your reality seems a little questionable, a little thin. I am making friends with ghosts!
But then I ask myself ‘what is real?’ and I am not always sure that I find the answer. What seems is often not. After a death so much of what is writ large to those left behind is invisible to others and there lies some of the pain. We are no longer quite known, what we love is out of sight. We walk in a parallel world searching for those who no longer dwell in it.
What feels real can also deceive. I find shadows of my dad everywhere. I have his messages on my phone, his mails in my inbox, his voice, his face, the damn facebook box that tells me he has logged in 10 weeks after his final log off…
There are days when that feels more of a curse than a comfort. These little messages tell me in a hundred ways that he is still with me, that all is as it was, and each reminder of that untruth stings.
What is real and unreal has blurred and I am haunted by electronic echoes.
Since my grief is part unreal dream and part all too plausible unreality, perhaps it makes sense that more whisps of what is and yet seems not, you who read, help lift me and keep me an inch stronger.
There are at least a thousand ways to grieve and many of them make little sense to anyone else. Even in company grief is walked alone.
Perhaps the only question that really matters is simply ‘does this help?’.