I've found the best way to cope with family loss is to concentrate on work, although I can't say I'm being particularly efficient at the moment. It's been a month since my mother's passing, and it's in frequent quiet moments that small details bring her memory sharply into mind, enough to make me stop whatever I'm doing. More particularly I worry about my father, alone now after 55 years of marriage. It's difficult to get enthusiastic about much around me in Yokohama, because I feel my right place is in the UK with him, rather than here the other side of the world. It's silly really, as Japan has been my home for 20 years, my career and family are rooted here. Nevertheless rather than pushing on with deadlines, I've been researching family history and doing other things that help me to place our lives into focus. These are the things that occupy my thoughts a lot of the time.
Though it may be hard to feel very creative right now, I've a lot of work to catch up with after three unscheduled weeks in the UK. Chief task is a 24 page picture book with November deadline for a Japanese publisher. I promise myself once I get stuck into it I'll be fine, but overcoming the first hurdles is not easy!