I can't say I haven't had a good life. By comparison with some I've in fact had a wonderful life. The grief which pressed so heavily on me a few years ago has lifted. I shan't forget my friend Henrik, or my parents or my father-in-law, but the agonising grief of their deaths has hardened into a scar. You can call that "healing" if you want.
I still miss my little dogs horribly, though. Their love was so generous and forgiving, so un-judgemental. Sometimes I think of them and I find myself weeping. I wonder that God -- or whoever orders these things -- should acquiesce in such suffering.
Really, I shouldn't complain. I have enough to eat, shelter, books and music, a loving family. I live in a safe country, with a decent welfare system, my health is tolerable.
All the same I still can't get my head around the terrible grief and loss we humans must endure, of how you will suddenly be ambushed by a random memory which leaves you weak with sorrow, of how happiness is always tinged with remembrance. The other night I dreamt of the little dogs, all asleep on the bed, and was overcome with grief to wake and find it wasn't true.
Bizarrely, despite my grief and memories, I am also sometimes intensely happy. Without reason or logic. Happy, just because. I know that if I examine the cause it will flutter off, so I don't. It's a sort of blind happiness, owing nothing, so far as I can see, to circumstance. A divine pat, perhaps?
Did my parents suffer this angst too? And theirs before them? It seems to be something that the young don't feel, perhaps because they haven't suffered grief like we oldies have. Or maybe they do too. I can't remember it, in myself, when I was young and brash. But then, the young are so self-centred. Or at least, I was. Perhaps it is precisely this grief that makes you fully human. I don't know. The happy certainties of sixteen have vanished.
Even the old aged pension is an oddly mixed blessing. It means I'm entering that last stretch of life, the slow curve downwards, the decay. I find myself forgetting things and wonder, is this it? Only I can't forget the things I would like to. God has a sense of humour. A very black one.
It's bedtime, now.
A la prochaine, mes amis.