D.H. Lawrence, Odour of Chrysanthemums:
“She was a mother—but how awful she knew it now to have been a wife” (p.123)
It took the cold and chilly hands of death to intervene in a dead marriage, to snatch her husband away, for Elizabeth to realize that she did not fulfill her role as a wife should have. No doubt she has felt all those moments of isolation throughout her marriage and probably blamed them on her husband. Her moments of isolation stemmed from the fact that he was never home; he was always drunk. Could it be that those were his coping methods—dealing with his wife’s withdrawal, her nagging, her spending more time with the children than with him? Is it possible that he realized that she had given up on the marriage and so he ‘killed himself’ by working so hard?
It’s amazing that even today many people wait until their ‘loved’ one is in the coffin before they bring out the flowers. Why not pay homage, fulfill the role or show affection while the person is alive? After all, there is no reparation in the grave