Thursday, 21 February 2013


Today is the second anniversary of Dr P's death. It has been, overall, a sad and sombre day, leading to reflections on our life together, the good and the bad, the joys and then sorrows, the love and the fights, the caring between us, each in our own way, and the sadness, struggles and sorrows as his health and mental capacity declined dramatically in his last year of life. Since his death, I have had to fight to get justice for myself, and for freedom to lead life according to my own decisions. In this I have, largely, succeeded.

As anniversaries approach, one reflects constantly on life together, and on what it was and what it could have been. Reality cannot be changed, but regrets endure, with many wonderings about what if and if only...But that was then, and now is now. Having trained as an historian, with a Catholic upbringing, and having worked in providing facts, information and analysis for all my working life - and beyond -  I try to face facts, to acknowledge reality, and my sins of omission and commission. I loved my husband, but he could be - shall we say? very difficult, hard hearted and selfish, and this complex mixture makes memory far from an unalloyed joy. And I, too, am a very imperfect being.

I am sad, and tears spring to my eyes. My widowed friend M telephoned, but my children and siblings evidently have not remembered the anniversary. Natural enough, I suppose, and no point repining. Tomorrow I will gird my loins and set forth, metaphorically, again. But today I mourn and reflect.

I went to the Italian class this morning. We always have coffee together afterwards and one member of the class said to me that I looked sad that morning. So we talked about the anniversary.

One thing I set out to do, and it has been done. I visited the crematorium and his niche and plaque. That having been done, I think I will not need to do it again. My farewells have been said again.

I scattered half Dr P's ashes in the gardens of the institution where he spent much of his working life. The other half has been placed in the niche, with a plaque recording his details. Strictly speaking, I had no right to dispose of his remains, but have done so, as the settlement precluded me from further dealing with the step-family. I took rosemary from my garden, and placed it near the niche.

It feels as though this second anniversary of Dr P's death is a kind of watershed for me, and thus I hope and expect that I will recuperate further. Recovery is, after all, a natural process.

But for the rest of the day, I remain sombre and reflective, taking stock, gathering forces, and striving to be ready to greet the morn. But mourning must, like rivers and the sea, take its own course, and flow on.


Relatively Retiring said...

My thoughts are with you. Anniversaries are difficult, and I try to avoid them and thus not be hurt when others do too.

Elephant's Child said...

I understand the regrets and the might have beens. My mother, like Dr. P could be described (charitably) as difficult. And yet there are still a lot of things to mourn. And to let go, though the mourning comes more easily.
I hope that the new day is so much brighter...