Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Putting to rest

Some weeks ago I scattered half of Dr P's ashes in the gardens surrounding where he used to work. Today I made arrangements for the other half of them to be placed in a niche, with a commemorative plaque, at the crematorium. Because he was a person of some note who served his country in a number of capacities, I felt that some of his remains should be in an identifiable and public place. Accordingly, today I finalised this. It will take some weeks for it all to be done, but the decisions have been made, the wording on the plaque chosen, and the payment made. This process is now almost complete, and I am relieved to have brought it to this point.

My emotions continue to fluctuate from week to week, from day to day, and from hour to hour. I still feel a lot of anger and resentment, both towards him, and towards his children. I still grieve, and have many regrets, wondering how I should have led my life, and how much better I should, or could, have done. Perhaps all these feelings will recede, and there will be a more complete recovery, but I know there will always be regrets, and feelings of 'if only'.

I cannot express myself very well here. Will it be possible to recover, to become more positive, to heal, when there are so many negative feelings swirling around? To what extent can recovery occur, given that I am alone, and have entered into the last years of my life?

If it were possible to live one's life again, would it be possible to do it better, to love more fully, to choose more wisely and more generously, to do unto others as I would be done by? What mistakes could be avoided?

Oftentimes I feel that both my marriages were mistakes, that my parenting has been defective, and that my virtues and better qualities were cramped, confined, twisted, embittered, and that any promise of any kind that I showed came to naught, or if not that, to far, far less than I anticipated or hoped. One can find excuses, blame society, religion, parents, partners, blind chances and misfortunes, but I cannot avoid my own choices, my personal mistakes, and character defects and all their consequences. And I do not have it within me, yet, or perhaps ever, to forgive many of the wrongs done to me during these last years.

I have done what I should have done in these last years and during Dr P's decline, illness and death, and endeavour constantly to overcome my failings and to face my future.  But my heart remains sore, and I feel very daunted.

4 comments:

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, I'm so sorry you're feeling down. All I can say is that you are a very interesting person and if Stompergirl is anything to go by, you've been a more than adequate parent. Her blog is one of my favourites and she's clearly a lovely lovely person with delightful children, so I'm sure you didn't do much wrong there. As for the rest - well, which of us has fulfilled his/her potential? There's only so much you can fit into one life and if you've sacrificed some of your ambitions while caring for others -well, that's a noble thing to have done, even if it's sometimes a bit thankless...

And I'm sure there's plenty of life in you yet. It's still very soon after all the terrible things you've been through. It's no wonder you feel bruised.

Relatively Retiring said...

I'm sad to read this, Persiflage, but I have been in(and can still return to) many of the places you describe so vividly. does it help if I say that this is a perfectly normal part of the grief process? However tough it is, it's normal, and you have had to cope with a great deal more than many of us. It is still early days. Be kind to yourself.

VioletSky said...

I have been trying to think of something to say, but since I have never been in anything like the position you have been for the past months/years I can only reiterate that you should be kind to yourself as RR says. Do not dwell on the 'what ifs' and the negative. There is always another view to everything that happens to us.

Molly said...

Ditto to what Isabelle said. I think you should soldier on, leave the past behind and enjoy what's left! It could be the best part, if you only let it be......