When someone dies, people focus all of their energy on remembering all the goodness that person brought to their lives. In the initial period of loss, it makes sense; it helps lesson the pain.
For me, there came a point where I needed to acknowledge the wrongs so that I could move on in my life. I had to examine my relationship (good and bad) to make decisions on what I wanted and perhaps more importantly, what I didn’t want if I was to even consider a future with someone else.
That process stimulated a lot of ill feelings which I fought back for a time. It’s okay to be mad at yourself for your wrong doings, but people don’t like you being angry with the dead. You’re only supposed to think good thoughts of them.
After a bit, I discounted that idea on only-happy-thoughts as another one of the fallacies of loss. Just like how people think you’ll just get over it in a year or two, it is a misconception. It does no good to consider only bits and pieces of the whole person – whether alive or dead. “For better or for worse,” right?
I guess about a year ago, I finally gave myself permission to remember the bad and experience the ill feelings towards Tom without judgment. It had value in my healing. I just can’t remember exactly what. Perhaps it was a way to balance the anger I had at myself for finding in joy in many of the things that Tom enjoyed but I never seemed to find the time to enjoy them with him. I think having young kids was excuse, but I have to wonder how much better things could have been between us if I’d somehow made the time to find a sitter to catch a music event with him now and again.
Anyhow, what’s done is done and there is nothing I can do to change the past. I can only learn from it and move forward. It’s time to let it go: my anger towards him, me, us. I think I’m at the point where I can let it all die off. I’m over being angry. The time has come to go back to holding onto only what was good and letting go of the rest.
Other than affirming that this is what I want to do, I have no other plan as to how to go about it. Hopefully, self-assertion is all that it takes.