You have not failed! What courage you have… To have shared your thoughts, your feelings, your STORY and your soul with us.
Regarding the time taken (no practice) - that is 100% completely understandable. How could one NOT take time in the light of your loss (so sorry).
I tend to think that playing is a strong way to express feelings and also honor your mother… but that is me… and you have your own take on the feelings you feel/express.
Regarding never having memorized or never having played a song perfectly - welcome to the biggest club in musicianship - I venture to suggest.
I play and play… and rarely ever get to a marginal, mistake-free performance. I just figure… every lack-luster attempt is one step closer to getting there… That magical moment when it will happen… and I have faith… It WILL HAPPEN!
As to memorization, I suggest that may be the easier part of just repeating and repeating your practice. Start with one VERY SIMPLE song. GET IT… and build on it… to include adding a 2nd.
One thing for sure, all of us have our challenges and overcoming them is such a great reward!
It is all about the journey… rather than just getting to the destination. It wouldn’t mean so much if you could snap your fingers and to it in 15 minutes… or even a day, week, or month. In fact, the longer it takes… the MORE it will mean… so let the pressure go… and focus on the progress.
Listen to the simplest sound of a chord… A roll… And hammer-on or pull-off… or a nice slide!
ENJOY your instrument - just for enjoyments sake.
As to the paying part, this is another question altogether. Coming off a long stint of unemployment, times get tough… so this must be your choice for cost versus your personal value.
I am sooo thankful I had paid for a Lifetime membership as the tharaputic nature of playing sustained my spirits when I was low… Or needed a distraction from job search… or… just to think on something else than life’s problems.
Oh… and at the risk of possibly offending, my Bible was used likewise! There… said it - done on not wanting to preach but offer another alternative.
You can find your way back… and this community is happy to be here to help and encourage.
Stick to it… because the failure is in the one who doesn’t have the courage to ever try!
You are well past that!