I think most will read this title and think I am planning to talk about the worldwide pandemic we are engulfed in but I am actually only going to reference it in terms of a time in history when I chose to ‘self-isolate’ for very different reasons.

So, I feel I can relate to the current conditions, albeit not on the same scale (this time the rest of the world is there with me), following the horrific turn of events that put my family right where we are now.

When Harry died, with the exception of following all the very basic steps needed to plan and organise your childs funeral (yes, that’s right); a visit to the funeral directors, a visit to the florists, a trip to the shops for something appropriate to wear, school runs, you get the idea. Other than that, I isolated myself inside my home.

I was on autopilot before Harry’s funeral, doing what I do best; organising and planning. Strange to think back, as to how I managed and coped but these are things I was doing for my son, as a mother.

But then afterwards there was nothing left to plan.

It took a lot of energy to take the smallest step, such as making calls and leaving the house. This is why I will never forget those little touches of help we received on the doorstep; thoughtful gifts and food parcels.

I couldn’t bare the thought of speaking on the phone, with the exception of a support advisor I had found and it took days to pluck up the courage to make calls to helplines to seek support for Jessica. I’m only glad of that fact we had the internet really, so that I was able to do my research from home. I avoided the supermarket and other shops too. The times I did go would cause anxiety and worry…would I bump into someone? Would they know? What if they didn’t? And that was worse to think I’d have to say those words ‘ Harry died’ rather than watch people just look at me with no words that could offer consolation.

Self-isolating meant I could stay in my own world, in my own space and believe it or not meant I didn’t need to interact with anyone. I guess it meant I didn’t need to go through my pain, and accept it. To be honest I felt a complete shadow of myself and still only now I’m not sure I’m the same person. Many that know me now, will know I appear quite confident on the outside and may find this hard to believe, but I just didn’t want to ‘be’. I felt numb. Lee did the food shopping and went out daily. I just did what I needed to like the school run and cook. Somehow though, I also managed to get the important stuff done like find support that was needed, travel there and do what I needed to for Jessica. So perhaps I wasn’t ‘locked down’ and stuck, but I chose to isolate and stay within the safe confines of my own home wherever possible.

Now, I prefer to be out and about and busy. Maybe this is also my distraction. Who knows. I’m glad I made it through though and am no longer choosing to isolate. I’m glad for my life and my opportunities. And I’m glad I have things to look forward to and that I have my health. If I can think this way, then I’m sure most of us could.

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