Friday, 4 March 2011

ifs, buts and wishes

So how did this happen?  Yesterday I was sitting with a total stranger crying my eyes out and sharing intimate thoughts and feelings about my marriage.

OK, the stranger was my bereavement counsellor but it astounded me how much bitterness she drew out.  Her questions surprised me – they were not the ones I would ask.  Delving deep they produced answers that I wasn’t sure I’d share.

Maybe it’s the “anger” phase of bereavement?

I’m angry Andrew’s gone and left me with so much to sort out on my own.

I’m angry at the things he never did and never finished.

I’m angry at the depression he had.  How it took away the Andrew I had fallen in love with and frequently robbed us of the husband and father we needed at home.

And maybe most of all I’m angry with myself – that sometimes, far too often in my opinion, I was so cross with him I wished he wasn’t here and I imagined a better life without him.

There’s a song I’ve been listening to over and over by The Script – “If You Ever Come Back”

I wish you could give me the cold shoulder
And I wish you could still give me a hard time
I wish I could still wish it was over
I’ll leave the door on the latch if you ever come back,
if you ever come back
They’ll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back
They’ll be a smile on my face and the kettle on
It’ll be just like you were never gone
They’ll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back
If you ever come back now.

The whole album seems to be about breaking up and moving on.  Maybe my interpretation of the words is different from how they were written but that’s the great thing about song lyrics, you can fit your own meaning from your experiences and make them your own.

I’ve never broken up with anyone before as in the “break up” of a big relationship.  Andrew was my first proper boyfriend, I was a very late starter, 24 when we first got together! 

 “Old Woman!” as my son would say!

I had my fair share of unrequited love.  The boys I liked when growing up never liked me in return.  The ones I did sort of “go out” with on dates were few and far between and big disasters.  

I ran away from the first boy who tried to kiss me!  The first boy who did kiss me found it amusing that he was far more experienced than me despite his tender years.

Relationships have ended in tears but never before with anywhere near this depth of emotion.

At the moment I have someone very close to me who is going through the early stages of a marriage break up.  It is messy, full of heartache and emotionally debilitating.

But there is the “what if…” of turning things around and wishing things could go back to the way they were, just like the words of the song.  A chance of a second chance.

For me there never is a going back, no kiss and make up or chance of getting back together – well at least on this side of heaven.   

And in heaven I’ve heard somewhere there is no marriage – Andrew always said it wouldn’t be heaven if he couldn’t be married to me!

That’s what made yesterday hard.  I know how much he loved and cared for me even if he didn’t always show it in the ways I wanted him to.

But what if I never loved him enough?  Never really loved him as much as he deserved?  Living with and loving someone with depression was a challenge.  I can’t change anything now or make it up to him.  I can’t say sorry for those angry bitter thoughts that surfaced yesterday.

I went to bed filled with regret.

Strangely I woke up feeling secure and contented.  I felt as if I’d survived a stormy night.  One of those nights when all you can hear is the wind and rain lashing at the windows and you think you’ll never drop off because of the constant noise.  In the morning when you awake all is calm and peaceful once more. 

Somewhere up in heaven Andrew knows everything now and fully understands my point of view and has forgiven me. 
Maybe I should say here and now that I forgive him too and that I am truly sorry for the pain I caused in return.

My brother-in-law came out with a brilliant quote the other day but I’m unsure who said it,

“At the end of every successful marriage is a broken heart"

One person dies first and leaves the other behind.

Well if that’s the formula - I can testify to having a broken heart therefore despite the ups and downs my marriage must have been successful!

I have a picture in my mind that when I go to join Andrew he’ll be there waiting with open arms and all the pain and heartache will be washed away.  Then everything will be made perfect.

Meanwhile here on earth God says his mercies are new every morning and I am thankful for a new day and a new start.

I’ve got some things out of my system now and it’s like sorting out everything that’s left behind.  There is a pile of rubbish to be discarded but the memories I’ve decided to keep are the happy ones.

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