Not Guilty

The last time I blogged ( ), this song from "Hair" was going through my head.  Today the above tune, written by George Harrison in 1968, but not officially appearing until George's 1979 solo album "George Harrison" (wonder how he came up with that title) has been running around in my head. 

"Not guilty

For getting in your way

While you're trying to steal the day.

Not guilty

And I'm not here for the rest,

I'm not trying to steal your vest.

I am not trying to be smart,

I only want what I can get.

I'm really sorry for your aging head.

But like you heard me said:

Not guilty."

Doesn't really apply to me...or maybe it does.

When I last wrote it was a question of where do I go?  The answer was with my boys on a 5 day/4 night vacation to the Poconos.  (You probably know where if you've read my blog over the years.)  And we had a good time all things considered.  (Read the previous blog post if you don't know what I am talking about.)  We relaxed...or as much as we could.  It was a good vacation, but...

My dad died late Saturday night.

I wasn't there.  (I didn't see the text until early Sunday morning.)

Not guilty.

Or am I?

For the most part I don't feel guilty.  For the most part.

For the past 7 months, with 2 exceptions (one in April and then this last weekend), I have gone to see and take care of my father.  When I was not there, I knew he was in good hands with his live-in caregiver.  (She has been with our family for a year and half.)  He was at home in hospice care.  While I knew his journey was coming to an end, I really did think that it might last a little longer.  However,  as I am loath to admit, this was not my journey.  I was not in charge.  I had no control.

Not guilty?

Maybe I feel a little guilty.  But just a little.

Mostly what I feel is overwhelmed.  (Which has become my word of the year.)  The news was a heck of a way to end our vacation and driving home was strange.  You'd think that having gone through this once before within the past 12 months, that I'd have a better handle on things, but not really.  You'd think I'd have planned things out ahead of time.  I really didn't.  That's where I am guilty.

Over the past 36 (giver or take) hours I've tried to get organized. To make plans.  To be thwarted by other's social agendas.  To try and come up with a memorial that would include ALL of my dad's friends just may be an impossibility, which is disheartening and frustrating.  (And a bunch of other "ings" as well.)  

What I will do is what I CAN do and what I can't...not guilty.

Finally, I am NOT guilty of freaking out when approached by a neighbor, who I fully admit I was trying to avoid, who passed on condolences and then asked if I was going to sell the house and reminding me that they were still involved in local real estate.  I AM guilty of trying to avoid this person because I KNEW this was exactly what was going to happen and I didn't want to deal with it, and yet...  (Note to all readers:  trying to get a real estate "in" within 48 hours of a loved one's passing is not gauche, it's PATHETIC.  Or, as my husband would say, "pathetique.")

I am guilty of trying to be a good daughter, wife and mother.  I am guilty of trying to please everyone.  (I need to stop doing KNOW I'll never stop doing that.) But I do not and will not feel guilty for going away and relaxing with my family for a few days.  Just as I cherish the time that I had with my dad for the past 57 years (or most of the time because let's face it, there is also parent/child angst and issues), I cherish the time that I've spent with my boys as we relaxed and celebrated my son's graduation.  (I even cherish the time when we hiked an overgrown trail during which I rolled my ankle twice and "gently" fell once, but that's a story for another day.)

Is guilt ever a good thing?  Not that I can see.  So I'll remain...not guilty.


  1. So sorry to hear this, Beth…my condolences——-and I don’t want to sell your house! That really is pathetique.

  2. I'm so sorry, Beth. Sending love to all of you -- and may your dad's memory be for a blessing. Hugs.

  3. You are absolutely not guilty. You did the best you could and it was good. And smart, caring, persistent, and the very best you possibly could. That neighbor is beyond pathetic.I would call t hem rude, cruel, uncaring - and downright stupid. I’m writing you a letter which will say more. Meanwhile I’m sending prayers and love. 💙

  4. Beth...there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way you feel. I had the same odd juxtaposition of emotions when my Dad passed away. He had gone through such a prolonged, horrible illness, that when he finally passed, it was almost a sense of relief that he was no longer suffering. It was sad, but it was also knowing he was no longer dealing with what he had going on that a sense of calm and peace came over me. I also lost my cool a bit when one neighbor of my Dad's came up to me in the street to ask guessed it, the house. So not guilty is most definitely the correct verdict.

    1. Pete you need to read:

    2. Oh yes, I read it. I went through the same thing, not just with nosy neighbors but family members, too. Just what you need to deal with at a time like that.


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