BLOGGED DOWN IN SELF PITY
Notwithstanding that a “blog” is by definition a personal journal or log, for the past year this blog o’ mine has been an overly personal self-pitying dirge of sorrow and tears over the death of my wife (not to mention my son and two brothers—and yet I mention them!)
The blog has also been an unsuccessful search for “God.”
Maybe I’ve been looking for God in all the wrong places. I have never found Him in a church; I’ve hunted high and low, around the alter, the pulpit, the nave, the sanctuary, the sacristy, the vestry, under the pews, etc, all I see are symbols, one particularly gruesome one of Jesus dying a tortuous death on the cross.
Say here’s an idea, why don’t Catholics put up a more positive and cheerful symbol of that poor man, like maybe (as suggested by a comedian I think) Jesus walking on water — shows a positive and optimistic outlook and it’s one hell of a neat trick.
Actually, now I think about it, I have seen God and even spoken with Him — in the Roadkill Bar & Grille on County Road 9. I’ve seen Him at the bottom of my gin glass — I have 80-proof proof of that. I’ve drunk to his health. But I don’t think the gesture has been reciprocated. He’s never there in the morning when I’m hungover as hell. That’s when I need Him the most — that’s when the loss of my wife is unbearable. Where is He then?
— But I digress, where was I? Oh, yeah, while writing this blog I’ve realized all along that there are countless numbers of people who have suffered similar losses, and, in fact, countless numbers who are far worse off than me, much much far worse.
Even my wife, especially my wife, would say to me — would have said months ago in fact, Knock it off with this self indulgent pity party, which, quite frankly, honey, I find embarrassing. I don’t want or need all this morbid attention.
Okay, okay — so in accordance with my wife’s wishes — and now mine [drum roll please or even better the opening bars of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus] —
— hence loathèd melancholy, to borrow the first line of poet John Milton’s 1645 poem ‘L’Allegro’ (The Happy Man).
Not that I will ever be a happy man, but I do not seek happiness — peace of mind is all I want, freedom from misery. And if I’m fated never to be with my wife again, by dint of that elusive, possibly (probably?) nonexistent God, then I live with the memory of her and I draw strength from her courage, especially at the moment of her death.
If only I could draw faith from her faith, for she did believe in God and some sort of afterlife — then, ah-hah! I would be a happy man.