Last night, getting into bed, I felt what I often feel at the end of my day, that something is missing. That something, which I mention in Her Widow (my next book), is having a chat with Catherine about my/our day. I glanced at the picture of her on my bedside table and reached for my journal to write to her what I would say if she were beside me in bed. I didn’t get far before my eyes began to sting. The struggle to live without her at my side continues. I accept that it is never-ending in ways and it doesn’t always bring tears to my eyes, but it is always there, thrashing about in my belly and it brought me to thoughts of the Jews in the camps. How horribly they must have suffered the loss of parent, child, spouse, sibling. I think the terrible conditions they lived under and threats and starvation might not have amounted to as much pain as the separation from family members. The holocaust hit me last night deeper than it ever has before, personally, and I think that is the point of suffering, to put us in touch with people (humanity) we don’t even know, who might not even walk the planet now, who we only read about and imagine. We are one, after all, and perhaps need suffering to wake to that. Perhaps empathy and compassion cannot be felt by those who for one reason or another haven’t suffered or been in touch with their suffering.
I think I need to get back to my professional writing if I have so much to say on a misty morning. I am wrestling with myself over what I should allow myself to write in a blog or even to friends, and what I should keep to myself. Instinctively, I reach for the pen, or the computer when feelings are pulling on me, but maybe it is not of importance to anyone and perhaps it is even self-indulgent and self-important to write personal thoughts and feelings. Maybe I should read a book or watch a movie and distract myself.