how did i get here?

my husband, my beautiful Dragon, died suddenly at 12:03 AM on 9 February 2009. there was a cold, lovely full moon and 3 feet of snow on the ground. i "slept" for the following 10 months and "woke" to the physical and emotional pain and torments of deep grief. i "woke" to find i had moved the day of his funeral and that i am lost. i am looking for me while i figure out the abstract, unanswerable questions that follow behind any death. my art has evolved. his death changed that as well because i am forever changed and will forever bear the mark of losing the only man i can ever love.
there is alive and there is dead and there is a place in between. i am here wholly in my heart for my children, but i feel empty inside at this time. i miss him. i have not gotten very far in my grief journey. i make no apologies for this.
this is my place, my blog, where i write to tell the universe that i am still here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

in the company of loneliness

for those who asked:  my Sanctuary at the moment.  still working on it.

looking down into my foyer.  the hanging on the door to the right blocks the window that looks into the garage.
 still working on it, most of my boxes are unpacked and most of the painting is done.
 i do have almost all my beloved books out in places....like here
 and the stairwell.
 these photos are a couple of weeks old and more has been done...
 but i haven't posted in a while and wanted to let any readers who may still be out there that
i am still here.

i love my Sanctuary.  it's more than home, it really is a place to come hide, to relax, to be myself.  i do feel safe here.  

i miss him a great deal but missing him is like walking and talking with someone who truly understands what i've been through/am going through.  i talk to him about things.  mostly i talk to myself though.  i am talking to my grief which resides inside me; deep inside me where i do not let anyone see.

people expect me to "miss" my husband.  but they do not understand the depth of that loss as it plays out for me on a daily basis.  i would love some "magic tea."  {you would have to be a reader from the beginning to understand that one.}  i would love to take a walk with him around here.  i would dearly love to have his advice, thoughts on my ever-aching arm ~ la tennis elbow that i cannot get fixed.

i miss all the minute things that go in to being part of a mated pair.  i am lost out here but that intense loneliness i feel is almost like company.

i walk my dogs in the silence that surrounds my rural Sanctuary and feel the wind on my skin, through my hair, pulling on my jacket.  it feels wonderful.  the warmth of the setting sun on my face and the feel of the coolness of the rising darkness on my back make me feel small but important.  it's a communing with nature coupled with the gratefulness in my heart for where i live now that i think is healing.

i am a widow.  i have no pull for being with others, for dates, for outings.  i take myself out to supper if i wish to go and i go in the company of a book.  i do what i want without fretting anymore about friendships from anyone.  i talk to my Dragon and to myself about how i feel and know that no one; no therapist, no support group, no counselor will ever take the time to know me and my story to be there for me.  i can do this alone. 

there was a time when there were no grief therapists, no support groups, or counselors.  people grieved their own way all the time.  the first 3 years were hard and i tried to find someone, believing that i needed outside help.  being rebuffed time and again, i would return home to lick my wounds and feel bad about myself.  i would feel unworthy, unimportant.

as more time passed, now 5 years, 8 months, i have struggled for my job, this place, and my right to be who i am.  so many others, grieving ships that have passed me in the darkness leaving me on my makeshift raft, but you know?  i'm doing okay.

i have my daughter, son, and grandson.  i have two little dogs who love my unconditionally.  i am working at a job that is trying to drain my strength both physically and emotionally but i do not let it.  someone can crush a flower, grind it into the dirt, and in a little while, a tiny green shoot comes up again.  like a tiny little middle finger flipping us all off.  i love that about flowers.

i am still grieving.  i always will.  but it is not an unhealthy grief.  it is the missing of someone who cannot be replaced, who cannot be forgotten, who will never be out of my life.  i love him.  he was an awesome man.

i am grieving and lonely at times, but that loneliness keeps me company.  i know it so well.  and it knows me.  i can talk a lot to it and it listens to me.  it nods it's head understanding what i am feeling.

it lets the wind caress my hair.  it has the sun shine on my face and warm it for those last few moments before it sets.

it also keeps the cool, rising darkness at my back.  

i said it was company.  i never said we were friends.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

finding home

the word home can bring about deep feelings.
we all want a home, to feel at home, we all have ideas of what home is,
of what it looks like.
i have been blessed with the opportunity to create a home for myself.
i am unpacking as fast as my work schedule allows me to.
here is one photo.
 give me a little more time and i will post more.

but back to finding home.
i have my sanctuary now.  it will be where i go to get away from the world.
it's a quiet place IN a quiet location.
just as quietly i love this place.
when i get finished painting and unpacking, it will look like the inside of my heart.
once you see it, you will have seen me.

but home.....
truly home was with him.
in his arms.
in his eyesight.
within the warmth of his smile.
i quietly got through his birthday and our wedding anniversary.
i got through the 5.5 year mark.
i got through another full moon.

i have found my sanctuary here now.
i pray it lasts for a long time.
i need some peace and feeling of safety in my life.
i am still searching for home.
it is him.
so i guess let me say it differently.
i am waiting for home.
i am waiting for the chance to find him.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

sanctuary

i am starting the move to my sanctuary.
i have pictures.
i'm painting it and making it my own.


 the walls of the stairwell will be lavender.

my street.

i'll be moving in by August 1st.

i am in love with this space, with the yard, the street,
the peace and quiet.
i will post more photos as i get moved in.

i just wanted anyone who still reads this blog to know
that i am doing this; that this is my choice.
this is part of my journey to find a place for me that is all mine.

i got the transfer to the new store.
my fingers are crossed for a gentler life.
for a quieter life.
for a less stress-filled life.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

change in the air

there are changes in the air for me.  the possibility of chances to do different, be different.
okay, not really be different but to live differently.
i went on a job interview that looks promising.
we'll see.  it's a process.

i am waiting to see if i can transfer to a different store, a store closer to me.

i am going to really try to play a bit of golf here and there.

it's something i really like to do.

and i have the opportunity to move to a different place, a cheaper place.

i'll have to do all this when the time presents itself.
nothing can be hurried.
i want to make the right decision.
i want to make a good decision for myself.
i want to live more simply and try to start saving money.
the apartment is over someone's garage.
and it would be much smaller and considerably cheaper,
and a lot more private.
i'm going to go look at it on Monday evening.
i'm excited about it.

i got to see my son again.
today.
he is working the U.S. Open {he works for the Golf Channel}.
he got me a ticket to get in.
he got a bit of time off to show me around.
he drove us in a golf cart to some exclusive areas that he, by virtue of the Golf Channel,
could get us into.
it was very nice.
he was so proud to be able to do this for me.
i was just so happy to be with him.
i love him beyond words.
he and my daughter are my everything.

my longing for my Dragon is still there though.
it is a quieter longing.
it is a soft whisper when i am alone.
it is the sigh from my lips in a silent room.
the television is off.
the lights are low for sleep.
it is the heavy awareness that he is so far removed my where i am now.
or i am so far from where he was, where we were when he died.
and my heart breaks a little bit more.
 
i'm fine.  i have some chances here to make my situation a little better,
and i will be grateful and content.
but i still miss him.
i wish he were here to share in this with me.
he's gone.
he died.
and i accept that.
but i worry about him.
{not a crisis of faith, just being human}
i love him very much.
i miss him.
i miss our marriage.
i miss our friendship.
yes, still.

there is a change in the air.
i am hoping and, yes, praying, that things work out for me.
i really need them to.
but wherever i go,
whatever changes take place,
or don't take place,
i still love him and feel married to him.
i'm not looking to make any changes in that area of my life.

summer is here again, my love.
and i still love you. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

time

there is nothing to stop time and life from moving on.
certainly not grief.
life just keeps going.
bills must be paid.
chores must be done.
you just do it while you hurt.

the thing now is to find the smiles,
the tiny things that make the passing of time,
the moving away from the moment of his death,
the realization that my life is forever changed,
those things that make me okay ~ for the time being.

she could be any young mother holding her baby looking out the window.
it could be from any time period.
i took it today while i was over visiting her and my grandson.
she is my baby.  my oldest child.
all grown up.
time passed.
i turned around and she grew up.
she married.
she is now a mother.
the little girl with the long, tangled hair who
loved to wear tutus over her jeans and sang so loudly to our dog
had left me for a time as she did all the adult things of college, work, getting married.
she was as gone as if she walked into the forest to never come back.
but i see her again
as she discovers the magic of being young again.
she sings to her son.
she holds him and cuddles him.
she talks to him about ducks and flowers and ladybugs.
 she sings the songs i used to sing to her and her brother.
she carries him around and doesn't put him down for a nap,
but lets him nap on her,
as i used to do her and her brother.
she says she remembers how i was when she was little
and she wants to do the same thing for her son.
i got teary.
we hugged and she asked me to teach her the words to a song she remembers the tune to but not the words.
so i taught it to her today.
that's what she was singing when i took the photo of them.

time will pass.
the sun will rise and it will set
all without him here.
but he is here with me.
i don't feel him near as in a presence.
i simply acknowledge to my quiet life that i love him.
and always will.

i work a lot and very hard.
but when i am home, i read, sew, and do it all while sitting with my lovely, furry roommates.
this is how we roll.
comfy on the sofa.
together.
snuggle buddies.
 but again i can see the passing of time; that cold, careless, unsympathetic torturer of relationships.

my gentle Scootie Wootums is getting older.  i can see his soft little face getting whiter.
he can't leap like he used to.
he likes to lay in the sunshine so that the warmth seeps into his bones.
 i understand that kind of pain.
i hurt deep in my back.
i hurt deep in my arms, my hands, and my knees are failing.
but i cannot stop working.
i have to provide for myself.

my sweet Carmen Sophia is getting older as well.  she and Scootie are litter mates.
they have only been separated once.
they were sold to different homes as puppies and grieved for each other.
they were returned to the breeder because they refused to eat.
once together again, they were happy.
i was called because i was on the list as a rescuer of dogs, given mostly senior dogs who were abandoned due to age.
so i took them in as puppies and have had the privilege of being in their lives all their lives.
and now, they are both older than i am.
time marches on and it's crushing me to see them get old.
i know what's coming.
so i take pictures.
i have so many pictures over our years together.
i love these dogs like i've loved no other that i have had in my life.
and i have deeply loved all my dogs.
i do not know how i will handle their passing.
but i will have to find a way.

time is not an enemy.  it simply is.
i try every day to appreciate the few who remain in my life.
i adore my Carmen Sophia and Scootie Wootums.
and i adore my daughter, my son, and my grandson.
time will pass and i will grow old.
but i have them.
and they make time worthwhile.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the years not spent together

i miss him.
i don't know if other widows or widowers; others who have lost their mate, their partner, do this, but i see other couples and i feel a twinge of, not envy, but longing.
i miss him.
it doesn't happen often, but i sometimes see couples who are truly mated.  perfect partners in life.
there is an obvious bond between them and i know they are a match.
like he and i were.
and all the feelings come rushing back of what we had together and i ache with longing for him.
i want to talk to him again.
i want to hold his hand.
i want to go to the grocery store with him.
simple things.
the everyday things that make up a life with someone.

i miss the years i would have had with him.
i still love him actively.  not passively as in my life is going forward or whatever phrase people use for someone who is ready to go out and actively search for a new partner.
i cannot fathom someone else on our sofa.
i cannot fathom someone else making my tea.
i cannot fathom the touch of someone else when i can still feel his so strongly.
i am thinking that ours was a true love story.

 i am exhausted these days.
i am working very hard and not making ends meet.
gas prices are so very high and i have to drive so very far.
when i get there i am tense and stressed thinking about where my gas needle sits and when i will have to get more of this black gold.

and people who come into the store are, pardon the expression, batshit crazy.
the collection of humanity who walks through our doors are, for the most part, selfish, arrogant, self-serving, hostile, and do not hesitate to show you their bad side.
all of us who work there have our stories of being treated like non-human servants in bondage.
it truly is retail hell.
and the things i see....the way these people treat their children.  it is scary.  i don't believe they realize the impact of their words and actions on these children.

after a long day i....okay, hold that thought.  immediately upon arrival i want to turn around and go home.
i want to go back to my little apartment where my two dogs wait for me.
i want to go back to my life as a hermit.
 i had thought i was lonely and needed a friend.
what i needed was my life as a hermit.
i am not strong anymore.  and i also get so pissed and wish i could say something to someone who treats me like these customers do.
i want to stand on the counter and shout to the entire store:
"i am a human being with a past and a present and a future however small!
i have feelings just as you do!
i have wishes and hopes and i have value!
stop being so mean !!!"
but i don't.  and they continue being mean.
and i stand there and take it and wish i could go home.

making that long drive home i wish he was waiting there for me.
now that the weather is warmer, i keep the radio off and have the windows down so the rush of wind buffets my face.  i see the moon, the stars, the occasional moonlit cloud pass close to that silver disk and i sigh with want.  i love the moon.
it also makes me lonely.  when i talk to him, i will look at the moon.
when i talk to Him, to God, i also look at the moon, as if the moon represents all that i long for.
i long for my husband.  i long to know that i will go to Heaven when i die.
i want peace and quiet.  i want the stress to go away.
i want to feel safe.

but then i get home and they are waiting for me.
i could have been gone 5 minutes or 12 hours; their joy at seeing me never changes, never waivers.
i love my dogs as much as i love my children.
 they are my roommates and my friends,
my confidants and my father confessors.
 we wait together for the time when our little pack is reunited.

so you see, i'm not doing very well, i guess.
i'm the same.
the intensity of the pain is less but it is still there.
memories and longing have replaced it though and my memory is very good.
i feel it all deeply.
and i miss him.
the years we won't have together are no less not spent together.
he is here with me.
i carry him in my heart.


"i carry your heart with me {i carry it in my heart}
i am never without it {anywhere i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling}
i fear no fate {for you are my fate, my sweet}
i want no world {for beautiful, you are my world, my true}
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
{here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or the mind can hide}
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart {i carry it in my heart}"
~ e.e. cummings

so you see?  the years we do not have together are still years together.
i love him.  i do not want anyone else.
i have my tiny family.  my children, my grandchild, my dogs.
and i have him.
i carry him in my heart.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

the long, slow goodbye

"every true story ends in death."  ~ ernest hemingway

grief is so very different for everyone.  it is also a very private affair.
it's an affair of the heart and only the person going through it knows how deep the pain goes.

he meant the world to me.  he means the world to me.

i admit i find secret comfort in widow(er)s both fictitious and real who have not moved on,
who have kept their sorrow inside and simply lived on with the memories.
there was a short-lived television show titled "10 things i hate about you."  in it the father character is aggressively, and unsuccessfully, seduced by a divorced woman.  he tells her he is not ready to date; that he is a recent widow.  the woman extends her sympathy and asks him how long it's been.
"7 years."
i loved that.  his face.  his expression.  the soft, lingering love for his dead wife.  he was still wearing his wedding ring.

or Jessica Fletcher of the television show "Murder, She Wrote."  she never dated nor married again.  she had a full life writing her novels, welcoming company to her home, and solving murders all over the globe.

and Betty White. she has been his widow for 34 years.  she's having fun with her acting and her animal charities, yet when she was on Inside the Actor's Studio and she was asked that last question, her answer was so very poignant.
"If heaven exists, what would you want God to say at the pearly gates?"
Betty said, "come on in, Betty.  here's Allen."

i've been told to never say never; that i do not know what's around the bend.
but .....
it's been 5 years and i still feel the same about him.

i will love him forever.
i think this is one of those long, slow goodbyes.


he was so much fun
and he gave me so much.
laughter and joy,
confidence and love,
and the ocean.
he took me to live beside the ocean.
we talked and shared.
we were a true meeting of the minds.
i love him.  he is so dear to me.


a long, slow goodbye.
i think of him quite a lot.
i do still dream of him.
my memories of him are so vivid.
i can hear his voice.
i can hear his laugh.
i feel this deep and abiding connection to him.
it is my most fervent hope and wish that i will be with him when i die.

a long, slow goodbye.
my memories keep me company.
and as i will one day die,
know that this is a true story.

i leave you with the words of a fictitious widow ~ Jessica Fletcher.

"i won't tell you that the hurt will disappear.
it doesn't,
but sooner or later it becomes different.
the pain subsides and the memories take over.
it isn't wonderful,
but it's better."