Sunday, 17 February 2008


Today I have something to confess. It’s not going to be easy but I have to tell someone.

I’m not a good mother. There - I've said it - I’d never been that sure that I was cut out for motherhood, it was something that just happened, that you were expected to do, but the experience of the last week has only confirmed that I’m far too selfish to have been allowed to be a mother. Who else would have spent so much time thinking about themselves and their work and left their children at home less than a week after the death of their father? How will my children ever forgive me?

Yet David has been remarkable since we got back home - it’s as if his journey up North was much more than just a physical achievement. He seems some much more at peace with himself than he has been at any time since his father’s death. More surprisingly he appears to hold no grudge against me despite my fears that it was my behaviour that triggered his desire to leave home. We spent all day at home yesterday settling Granny Browning into her room. The need for family seems to be such a strong reaction to this crisis. If I had been asked to guess how people might have responded to such an event I would have thought that it might have had the opposite effect – with people driven into themselves – breaking their ties and concentrating upon their own welfare. The reality has – almost without exception – been the reverse. Humanity has come to the surface – despite my feelings that society was on the verge of breakdown prior to the outbreak it has pulled together. Watching the news from across the world there are countless stories of self-sacrifice, communities supporting each other, and acts of tremendous courage.

One of the things that I’ve learned from the last week is that my family comes first, second and always – regardless of what might be going on anywhere else in my life – no matter how many other people might be benefiting.

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