This day one year ago I set off to sail across the Atlantic . It was my way of dealing with Christmas alone. I simply could not face the memories of previous occasions, especially facing up to David's last festive season as we struggled to beat the tumour that was changing him daily!
I had booked a long trip away. We were to sail to New York then go on to the Carribean , back to New York, returning during the last week across the great pond! Three weeks away looked like a wonderful way of coping with the grief.
In the event...it was not one trip. It was actually three . The first week was the best. Our table was full of single Brits and we got on very well. The second week was when Cunard slipped up. I was on a table of eight widows! We did not stay together! The last week was back to a mixed table with people I liked. We were all on the same quiz team!
But it was still three seperate cruises with different people to get to know for each leg!
Eating companions are important on board. They are the people who often become real friends in later life. Some who are dear friends today are people I met over the supper table ages ago.
This time next week I will be starting another cruise. This is one cruise not three. I will know some people already. We met on the last cruise a few weeks ago when they persuaded me that if we met again we would have a wonderful time.
This week, getting ready to depart I am talking to one of them daily.... Christmas cards from previous travelling companions are arriving also.
It's a strange world I now habit. It's not better than my life here with David. It's different. The grief is less but still there...specially for both of my children...
I am lucky to be able to escape real life in this way...life on board isn't real in the same way....we will have Christmas enclosed in a bubble... The bubble doesn't prevent memories from flooding back. But it does provide distractions from it!
So today I will be starting to pack. Posh party clothes will be lightweight....we are sailing south!
The bubble awaits.