I see fire. Inside my head. I dream in technicolour, bright, vivid, monstrous flames devouring, consuming everything I hold dear. In the early hours of this dark Friday morning, the rain came down in torrents and washed away the burning car in my dreams and I lay, listening to the thunder on the tin roof of the house I am staying in and cried.
With each passing day, the chance of salvaging anything at all from the burnt and blackened remains of what was my beautiful home become even more remote and with this heavy rain, even less so. It is heart breaking all over again. And again, and again. Will this waking nightmare ever end? I feel as though I am living in a bad dream, that one day I'll wake up and it will all be a huge cosmic joke, but I know that is not the reality.
The insurance company promised me, almost four weeks ago, that I would have the chance to go through the house (where safe) and retrieve anything that could be salvaged. It's taken almost four weeks of struggle and fight to get that opportunity and I still have to wait until the middle of next week to do so. With this rain pouring in through the gaping hole that was the roof over my house, I doubt there will be little if anything left. It is a wicked double blow. It takes my breath away and it leaves me powerless and in great emotional pain.
It wasn't the insurance companies fault. It was the company they hired to 'make safe' my property, but who became argumentative, obstructive and abusive when told by the insurance company to assist me in retrieval of anything useful. Their assistance will be to stand outside the ruins and watch this old, disabled woman attempt to remove things from her house and tell me if I'm 'not allowed' in certain areas because of possible harm and danger. Like I don't know that already. Like I have NO common sense. Like I'm a recalcitrant child. I've had to let go, in my heart, all the furniture that may still be just smoke damaged - by now it will be waterlogged and warped and swelling and useless.
I understand fully the very real danger posed by going back into my home. But I'm not going in the parts that are already collapsed. I know there is no point in going in there, in risking my life - although I watched 4 blokes without safety gear crawl all over those same rooms and ruins last Friday... All I want is to get my cat's immunisation records off the top of the fridge which is in the kitchen which is NOT damaged by fire, just blackened and thick with soot and water damaged. Maybe even retrieve some stainless steel pots (especially my steamer) and some crockery and cutlery... Something of the life I once had. That would be wonderful. Just a few small things I can hold dear.
I will wear gloves. I do own steel cap boots. I have a hard hat. I'm not stupid.
But I NEED to do this. I NEED to make the effort. I NEED to touch what was once my life...
I NEED to say goodbye.
I NEED to let go.
I NEED to cry.
As the rain falls down this grey and cool morning, I need a hug. More than anything, I wish there was someone here who would hug me and hold me and rub my back like a little child and tell me untruths that everything will be ok. I wish it was, oh how I wish it was.