Sunday, 26 April 2009

I am not resigned

It has been a lovely weekend.

R's brother and sister-in-law have been to visit. They are the people with whom I can most easily unburden my soul. The weather has been beautiful, they have helped me with some jobs around the garden, we have been for long walks, eaten and drunk, laughed and cried together. And yet. And yet.

Now they have gone home, I feel so unsettled. Worse than that, I feel jealous, and it is such an ugly feeling.

Despite their sadness at losing R, they still so obviously have and love each other. And every time they laugh at a private joke, touch each other briefly or share their plans for the future, it gives the knife that is permanently embedded in my guts another little twist. That should be me and R doing that. We had plans. We loved each other. It still makes no sense at all that he should be gone.

I have been carrying these words by Edna St Vincent Millay around with me, scribbled on a scrap of paper, since R was buried. They reflect most accurately the anger and sheer bloody outrage that is burning up my heart right now:
Dirge without Music

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love, --
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Tonight I feel that I will never be resigned.


  1. Jealousy. Yes, whether they are 20 years old, or 85, it strikes you as bloody unfair, and (frankly) insensitive at times. And still they canoodle right in front of you, and then they even have the temerity to argue as well!

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

  2. @ Roads: Thank you for your comment. It's hard, isn't it? I don't want people to feel that they have to tiptoe around me, but I guess that the downside of appearing to cope is that they will act more naturally too.

  3. Yes, that's perfectly put, J. The more you seem to cope, whether it's with friends, relatives or colleagues at work, then the more they'll think you really are coping.

    That's such a relief to them, since
    a) it's what they want to hear, and
    b) they're off the hook with helping out, wiping tears etc etc..