Crying for the money

Claude Monet- Yellow Irises detail 1If a man for money criesClaude Monet- Yellow Irises detail 2
cry not when his father dies
It is proof that he would rather
have the money than his father.

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.

2 thoughts on “Crying for the money

  1. Dear Clare

    I believe in you, and I do believe you are not weeping over money, though perhaps you feel sorrow for a man so easily and brutally conned.

    I believe you are weeping for the loss of opportunities that money affords. It is not comfortable being poor, and to have fought so valiantly and to find oneself still poor, is painful. You have the right to a good job, to respect and to the aspirations that others take for granted, yet even among those you call friends, you have encountered disbelief, prejudice and unkindness. That you have had the chance of a few choices taken from you is sad. For that, I would weep too.

    Not that I feel sorry for you. It is not that at all. But, as someone who readily identifies with the various cruelties of poverty, I do empathise. Weeping is probably a proportionate response, here, for lots of reasons.

    You understand me, I believe; and I hope that you know that I love you, so I hope you will not find me patronising. To me you are a blessed light. Your weeping makes you brighter. Thank you for the yellow flowers.


    • I understand you, I think. I do not find you patronising.

      At Christmas 2000, I went home to my father for Christmas, and we started our Christmas dinner about 2pm with a wine box. At 2am, the wine box was finished and we had feasted then grazed and sorted all the problems of the world. I had a father in high middle age, with a lively enquiring mind.

      Since then he has slowly faded away, and now he is gone- and I feel to a great extent I had done my mourning before he died, and accepted my loss, and now I have beautiful memories and lasting love.


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