Many years ago, I met a Canadian man in Amalfi, in Italy, who, with his sister and brother, was completing a previously unfinished journey through Italy which he had begun with his late father, before his father had been taken seriously ill. In his last days, the father actually asked his son to finish the journey through Italy later, in memory of him. So here he was.
I was deeply moved by their story, although I could never imagine or understand then, what he was feeling. Now I can.
Years later, I lost my Mum, and lost the hope, and chance, to take a “dream journey” with her – our first cruise, to New Zealand, which she so often spoke of.
So, in my desperation, I booked my last-minute cruise ticket which departed from Melbourne on February 14th. However, this was not easy. I was torn between the regret and guilt of not taking Mum earlier, and the strong desire to pay a happier tribute to her and actually DO SOMETHING - something she would have enjoyed, something she, as my Mum, would want me to enjoy.
And these feelings were aside from my own mental and emotional exhaustion, which needed some healing. I’d sunk into a black hole of grief, really, not to mention, my shyness from people and society which had grown since our pandemic and Mum’s passing, and which had seen me spend three or four weeks at a time inside my home.
So, with my pre-paid booking, I was on my way, travelling alone, on my first large cruise, whether I liked it or not!
However, I desperately wanted to do this, and to make this a positive memory for myself and Mum – to somehow, and finally, take her on our dream holiday, even in spirit.