Friday, February 09, 2007


Those who know me in person know that I am prone to self-torture: what I did, what I didn't do, what I did do that was really mean or thoughtless, or just plain stupid. Those things, they're torturing me all the time. All the time. I work to escape them, and believe me, it's hard slow slogging through the back closets of the mind. Full of clutter, full of pain.

And when someone isn't here on this Earth anymore, all of a sudden, your chances for forgiveness, for making restitution or just apologizing, all fades away and you are left alone to suffer. Why didn't I do X? I don't even know, but it'll be with me forever unless I can manage to forgive myself.

I am trying not to lose myself in the pain and regret.

1 comment:

SusanElm said...

Hi J,

My heart goes out to you. I'm Susan, Joan's daughter, (Melissa, whom you’ve met, is my younger sister). I well understand some of the heart wrenching emotions that you are feeling right now.

We share the same grief and sadness as well as regret. I cannot speak for my siblings but I remember quite well how torn apart I was when my father chose to end his life. I was only 18 then and I'm 49 now. It took me many years to forgive him, many more years to forgive myself. Should I have listened more? Should I have cared more? I was there that night. Could I have stopped him? The hardest part is that never will I get the chance to change things. Utter absolute finality with no recourse.

My purpose in writing to you is not to impose on your grief, but to let you know that after the tremendous pain you are going through now, there eventually will be a semblance of peace. A lessening of regret, of anger, of futility. I hope that I am conveying the sympathy I feel for you, your sister and your family and I hope you are receiving it in the spirit in which it is intended.

Please be well and know that you are not alone.