This has been bothering me. Even if the original is a mockery of Lopez de Vega rather than a serious point, I have cried far more passionately over my father’s loss of money than over his death.
£60,000, or £10,000, as soon as the executry was complete, would give me choices which I do not now have. That my father could be conned out of £50,000 last year was bad enough; that he could be conned out of another £50,000 by practically the same con, after he appeared to see that he had been conned before; that after he appeared to see that the second con was a fraud, he could scrape together £2000 to give to the same people this Summer; that his wife, and my sister who lives ten miles away could not protect him from this; that I could not, because I was so far away and because of how I was with his wife; that we and hundreds of others conned in the same way could tell the police of the particular con-men, and those con-men could continue to operate with impunity from the same addresses and telephone numbers-
makes me weep, passionately, abandonedly, repeatedly- for my failure to control my world, and my loss of the money. Whereas at his funeral my weeping was a happy grief, with delight at his beauty and vivacity-
Is this next bit brutal and dark? I don’t know.
At 88, his physical and mental powers were greatly reduced. He needed no carers, and took some part in the housework, but did not go out a lot. He had stopped going to the church, or the dancing. People visiting made his social life, and I am unclear about how much there was of that. He has ceased to be a source of worry for me. In part the worry was that he would be unhappy or weary or frightened or deluded, and I and others could not alleviate that.
In dying, he has ceased to be this vulnerable old man, and become- himself, the whole of him over his whole life. In that sense his life is Eternal, outside time. I have memories, of gifts and achievements, and his real regrets are outweighed by his consolations and mine.
The images are extracts from Yellow Irises by Claude Monet.