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I really don’t know why these are difficult days for me. It has been three months since my Mom passed away, today. In some ways it still does not make sense to me. I cannot seem to encompass the enormity of my loss. I find myself suddenly realizing the fact and still burst into tears. I thought things would get better quicker.
I have made progress. I pushed myself a great deal, I have traveled a bit, to Gouna and to Luxor and Aswan, I have started lightening up my clothes of deep mourning, I attend social functions and even host a few. Still…

My two new puppies are a joy, and the antics that they, the rest of the dogs, and the cats get up to are extremely entertaining and keep me very busy. If I am not taking pictures of them and bending the ears of my friends on Facebook about them, then I am cleaning up after them, feeding them and taking them down to the garden for some exercise, and hopefully for them to become housebroken and do their business in the garden.
Yet. I still have those moments, which, in the last few days have been rather too often, and too long. I find myself unconsciously living through many of the most painful moments of my life. In full detail and in technicolor! All the feelings, all the pain wash over me in waves till I feel I am drowning. So I plunge into something new.
Last week I attended a “Henna” party for a bride. I have never been before to one of those. It is a party where only women attend and it is riotous. Even the DJ is a woman, and so are all the servers, so that the women guests feel comfortable to really let go. I had never realized how talented some of society women are in belly dancing. The young, beautiful bride was in her element, among her youthful entourage who made up the bulk of the entertainment. They put on quite a show. I don’t know how many costumes she wore, and each was more stunning than the one before. I do remember the white belly dancer’s dress, the golden one like a popular Pop star, a Hawaian dress, a midnight blue one, which I cannot recall depicting which country, and a couple from the Far East. And each time she went upstairs to change, the music started in the theme she would depict upon her return. It was really quite a show. She was the centre of attraction and her friends were the supporting cast.

Also, because it is the night of “Henna”, there was a woman giving temporary tattoos to whoever wished for one. I had never had one, and thinking it would be fun to try, as long as it was temporary, I went for it. I had this lovely, simple design drawn on my arm. Something new. A new frontier crossed.

The buffet was stupendous, in keeping with the palatial aspect of the surroundings. The part of the house I could see was very elegantly decorated indeed, with a mind boggling amount of gold on the walls. The shining marble floor, the paintings on the ceiling and the antique furniture all echoed the same. But not oppressive opulence, on the contrary. High ceilings, light walls and excellent lighting all contributed to an airy, spacious feeling of elegance. What I saw of the gardens was in keeping with the house. And the scale was huge.


The reflecting pools, the stately palms, the garden decor, all echoing the same theme of plenty. The effect was the more striking after having driven through a rather poor neighborhood to get to that particular estate where the “Henna” party was held.
The wedding was the following week. Held in one of the seven star hotels in Cairo, it included most of the Who’s Who in town. That too was very lavish with a seated five course dinner for at least 600, while the younger guests were served a sumptuous buffet. The table I sat at included many of my friends and it was fun when we could communicate, which was with difficulty, because of the loud music. This is one of the most unpleasant aspects of any wedding. I feel the beat of the drums reverberating in my ribs, and it sorely puts my ears to the test. We were there for three hours and when we left still had an hour’s drive till we got back home.

For the wedding I had my hair cut, gave myself a new look, and took a selfie in all my glory, dressed up to the nines for the wedding, and in a fit of madness put it up as my profile picture on Facebook. The reaction of all my friends was overwhelming. That alone should have taken me out of any bad mood. But…
I think I might be asking too much of myself. I kept being told it takes time, but I am impatient, I push myself and I think I have a handle on it. Then suddenly, out of the blue, a word, a gesture, a few notes of a song, and there I am back again to square one.

The whole country is in a state of euphoria. We have just voted in Al Sisi as President in a landslide election, and the accompanying music is very light and the beat quick and cheerful. I love it and cannot get enough of listening to it. Despite that, my personal dark clouds keep gathering and moving in. Mostly I fight them, but sometimes I give in to them and sink, sink in the oppressive dark of a suffocating depression.
I don’t give up. This weekend I have set up a doggie play date where some friends are bringing their puppies and young dogs to come and play with mine in the garden. The dogs will have their fun, and I hope so will the humans. I am looking forward to spending an enjoyable day with friends, watching the antics of all the puppies and dogs.
Life goes no, with its ups and downs, with its progress and regression, the pendulum effect is continuous. I cope for some time, then break down at others, then cope again. As long as I keep picking myself up again, and again, I know I shall make it to that calm shore through these turbulent waters of my current days.
3 June 2014