10 years on …….

It’s November 8th and the eve of it being ten years since I lost my mother. I am in the final weeks of production for what will be the biggest and most emotional museum presentation of the Wonderland series there has ever been, and no doubt ever will be. My days have been filled with revisiting every page of my book, extracting writing from the diaries for the exhibition walls…. walking back through it all, every raw nerve ending. It’s been bittersweet that these two moments in my life are colliding – just when you think you are coping, grief has the ability to take you down in the most monumental way and if I’m honest this is how I have felt today. Ten years on I still manage to find myself in the depths of uncontrollable shaking sadness, right at the point in my career when I should be excited, proud and preparing to speak her name publicly…with confidence.

Instead I spent this afternoon, inconsolable on the hill where I let her ashes go four summers ago, reliving the times I have dragged myself there in the desperate hope of seeing something, anything from her.

But just as I felt I was failing and so disappointed I couldn’t be stronger, above my head soared a tiny model plane, gliding silently in the wind. It circled the low bright sun like a playful bird, constantly returning, swooping past again and again, ending with a perfect ‘loop de loop’ right above my mother’s tree. A stuttered laugh burst from my lips, I needed that plane to be for me so badly that I just surrendered to the moment and let irrational thought take over… it was her.

I didn’t care if I was being sentimental, relief felt better than reality and suddenly all my sadness drained away. I could catch my breath again, let go and take in the beauty of that precious place. Anniversaries are just another day…. at least that’s what I felt that little plane was trying to tell me.