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, April 19, 2015

Furry Beloveds

this is my blog where i come to vent.
i do not come here very often anymore; not like when he first died.
but i do come back.
the people i first met here, the widows and widowers who first commented and
engaged me in conversations, who befriended me
have mostly dropped off the horizon.
they're lives have taken them away from the need to come back here.
they are busy, remarried, adjusting without the need to speak to it.

i think i am a little bit lonelier then they.
in a different place in my heart?
not sure but i still do come here to write.

but i wanted anyone, everyone who reads to know that i am not in constant pain.
i am not suffering as i once was.
i am not over it though.
but i have accepted what has happened and what happens {present tense}.

i also wanted to show you happy pictures.

here is me {so to speak} with one of my Furry Beloveds.
Scootie Wootums is my little boy Scottie.
he likes to snuggle.  so do i.  it's a match made in Heaven.

my Dragon during one of our misty morning walks with our dogs on the beach in front of our home.
they and i were much younger.  he was still here.
now they and i are much older and he is not here.
but the memories.....

Scootie asking to go outside for walkies.

my sweet girl, Carmen Sophia, sharing her soul.

i sometimes feel a great loneliness when i see and know and realize that people are going home from work to their families, to busier lives than i have.
but then i walk into my Sanctuary to excited barks and wiggly butts and happy smiles
and know that i am also home to a busy, albeit slower paced, life and i relax and feel at peace.
i am home with my Furry Beloveds and there are walkies to be had and suppers to be made and snuggling to be done.

and when it's lights out, they are still there with me, yes, on the bed, and i can reach out and get a kiss.
if i have a nightmare they wake me from it.  
they are not therapy dogs.
they just love me.

and i love them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

melancholia

i'm down.  i don't know why.  well, i do know why.  i saw something on the social media venue of Facebook.

sometimes they suggest or ask if you know someone based on facts you have given them.  there was a woman i knew from a long time ago.

a girl.

from grade school.  i knew her from 1st grade to 11th grade.  i flipped through her photos and saw a photograph of her standing with another girl i knew from that same time period.  they had both grown up in our town, stayed, and married brothers.  they were "sisters" as well as sisters-in-law.

there were also photographs of them standing with their husbands.  and it hit me.

these two girls i had grown up with were family.  they had known each other for over 50 years.  friends.  family.  sisters.  they have roots in the town they grew up in.  homes.  lives.  everything so familiar.  so comforting.  home.

they were still home.  they had created their own homes at home.

they looked so happy.  of course i have no way of knowing if they truly are happy; if they have longings or wistful dreams of having done something else.  but in those one or two photographs i saw a sense of family and community and deep commitment to a place, land, people, town, to each other as a family that i have never known.

and it has brought me down.  i look at my life and do not see any security.  i had to move so many times for various reasons. 

me.  whose only childhood dream was of a forever home where i could be part of a church, a town, have lifelong neighbors and friends.  a little house where i lived and loved and raised my family.  a marriage where i was loved and loved. 

well, i got the love part right here at the end of my dragon's life.  such a brief time so late.  but i cherish it.  and i miss it.  i miss it so much that i ache.

i miss his holding me.  i miss his laugh.  i miss just knowing he is there.  because he's not there.

he was home.  no matter where we had to move, (and even in this marriage we had to move) i was home with him.

home.  it is such a strong word.

there is a back story to all this that i will never tell anyone.  it is a secret that haunts me and keeps me close to the darkness, too close.  things have happened to me throughout my life that i wish i could part with, share with someone; but i can't. 

home.  i wish he were here to hold me and make me feel like i was home.

i will work through this but that is all.  i am the creation; i am what is left due to all the things that have happened to me. 

i guess we all are.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Easter

it's almost Easter.
my grief has been with me for 6 years now.
i don't know if i can call it grief.
i am not in deep grief.  it has been 6 years.
but i miss him and i call myself widow, not single.
i wear my wedding rings.
is what i feel grief? or have i moved on?
i haven't moved on from him but i have moved on with my life.
i'm not stagnant. i work.  i consider my needs.  i think about my family.
i make plans.  i hope for things like a nice vacation,
pain control of my foot and my arm.

but it is Spring.
it is Easter, almost.
it is a time to reflect and rejoice.
i have so much to be grateful for.

i have these guys.  my roomies.
i love my Carmen Sophia and Scootie Wootums.
we cuddle, walk, talk; we live together, truly live our lives.
we dance and laugh and watch tv. they wait for me when i am at work and rush home to them.

i love them so very much.

i have my son who is so wonderful.  i am so proud of him.
he has a great job and would do anything for me.
he helped me buy my car.  he got me my new fancy phone.
he calls me once or twice a week.
most of all that is so important to me,
he confides in me.  he tells me things.
he treats me like his mom and not his aging mother.
i love him so very much.

i have these two.  my daughter and grandson.
they bring such joy to my life.
my daughter and i talk 2 - 3 times a day during my work days.
on my days off, we talk more than that.
and i go see her and help her out.
we play with Finn.  we talk and talk as women will do.
she worries about me and i worry about her.
we are kindred spirits 
as well as mother and daughter.

and i have my Sanctuary.
a place of my own.
a place i have made my own.
a place i retreat to and feel safe.

i miss him.  i talk to him.  i talk about him.
am i still grieving?
i truly have no idea what to call it.
i know i have so much to be happy about.

do i wish he were here to be a part of it?
yes.
am i over his death?
i am over the fear and shock.
but i am not over him not being here.
do i deal with it in a healthy way.
i don't know what someone would call this, but this works for me.

i wish everyone a happy Spring.
i wish those who believe a happy Easter.

peace to all who read.  peace and light to all who grieve.

Monday, February 9, 2015

6 years



i am still grieving.

i have found my footing, i think.  i am living.  i work and visit my daughter and grandson.  i live with my dogs and take care of them.  i take care of me as best as i can.  but what is hidden behind a smile can be a terrible thing.

a widow i knew only online, and through fairly regular phone calls over these 6 years killed herself in January on her wedding anniversary.  her daughter called me.  it seems my friend apologized to me in her note for not being able to stay.  she left my phone number so i could be told in a quiet phone call on a random Wednesday while driving to work.

my heart is shattered.  new grief on top of old grief.  the loneliness of this journey just got lonelier.  and darker.  i wish she had called me.  i wish, i wish, i wish.  "if wishes were horses, then beggars could ride."

a widower i met once but have kept up with through Facebook has received some terrible news.  his new husband is critically ill.  no real way of knowing how it could go.

i have kept myself to myself today, the anniversary of my own husband's death, but i had to reach out to this man.  i wrote to him that i was keeping him in my prayers.  his response was one of great fear and worry; of trying to keep it in check.  new grief on top of old grief.

i wrote back to him and felt it appropriate to put here for myself, for him, for any of us who grieve.  this is what i wrote to him:

love never breaks. it breaks down. it cries. it even curses fate sometimes. but it never breaks.

i met you for a brief time. we only got the chance to sit and speak for a very, very short time, but i remember you. i remember feeling your soul in your words i got to see the real you looking into your eyes. in your voice was sorrow and grief but a strength i wish i had had so early on in my own grief. when your hand held mine for a quiet moment as i cried, i felt your own courage and the solitude that i had been living in slipped away, if only for that moment. you gave me a moment of comfort and it has lasted me these 6 long years.

i have been very much alone with my grief throughout but when i feel despair; when i feel the solitude crushing down; when it hits me very hard that i have no one to really talk to; i remember those few minutes with you.

you have inside you an old soul, but also the resiliency of a young one. you have the ability to keep the candle of hope lit on a very windy, stormy, dark night. cry when you have to. be angry and question when you need to. but know that breaking down is not breaking. it merely gives you the chance to catch your breath so you can stand up stronger to face whatever comes your way.

we draw on what little we get to keep ourselves going; to keep ourselves warm; to light the darkness.

6 years later i still break down. i still cry.  i still miss him.

i am still adjusting the way i think of things.  i think i always will.



i have been asked questions with a "do you" and "why."  here are my answers.

yes, i still wear my wedding rings.  because if feels right.  
no, the thought of someone else does not enter my mind.  because it does not feel right.

i will love him all the days of my life. 

peace to all who read.  peace and light to all who grieve.






Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas letters

my dearest Dragon,

it is Christmas time again.  this will be my 6th Christmas without you.  no one knows this; funny how people just assume it's "better," that it's all okay now, but it is still so very hard without you.

you loved Christmas.  it was your time to really settle back and reflect, enjoy, accept, and sigh with happiness that we were married, that you and i were us.  it was the closing of the year and you always looked to a brighter tomorrow.  always.  it was simply your nature.  and your gift to me.

what has changed since you've died?  my hair is more silver now.  i'm much thinner, by 45 pounds.  i'm overall healthier.  i do everything the doctor says with regards to my diabetes and blood pressure.  i do hurt a lot.  my knees, my feet, my hands.  also my right arm is pretty bad off but can't really do anything about it more than i am doing.  i cannot afford the time nor the financial obligation that would come with having the surgery so i live with the pain.  the pain is nothing compared to the pain of being without you.  {time has not diminished my memories of your laugh, your touch, your glance.}
 

i work very hard at a retail job.  it is demeaning at times and other times, it seems like i touch people's lives with a grace that feels nice to give.

i have a grandson that is the light of my life.  curious, joyful, innocent.  he is the best of all of us rolled into one small soul.  Christmas will be nicer with him here.  i wish you could be with us.  i know you already know him, probably met him up in Heaven right before he was born.  

our two rescue dogs, Carmen Sophia and Scootie Wootums are still with me.  we are besties.  they sleep on the bed with me.  they wait for me to come home from work.  we hang out.  i adore them.  they are my confidants, my roomies, my friends, my family as well.  and they are both getting older.  i see the slow fading starting with them.  it is going to devastate me when they pass.  i won't be able to handle it and yet somehow i will carry on but ..... such huge pieces of me are being taken.  all the "headstones along the way."

my "courage is lesser to do and dare."  i'm getting older.  creeping up on 6 years since you died in Feb. of 2009.  i don't feel as deeply as i used to but then i think maybe i feel too deeply and i cannot let it show.  i keep it hidden.  i find myself calming myself, telling myself to breathe.

i keep going. i simply keep going.  i do not want to die yet.  i want to see my grandson get older.  i want to see my son find a girl and get married.  i want to sit quiet and watch everyone.  i simply want to be a quiet part of it all.  take pictures.  smile.  keep it all inside.  cherish it.  so that maybe, just maybe, someone or something doesn't take anymore away from me.

merry Christmas, my love.  i am still married to you.  i have not taken off my rings.  i find i cannot.  i still adore you.  you still are, and ever will be, my magnificent Dragon.

love,
your Bunny.

~~

My lovely, soulful, gentle Bunny,

You are still my beautiful Bunny as much as I am still your Dragon.  I do watch over you every day.  I am the one who helps Carmen and Scootie still be able to leap up into bed beside you.  To keep you warm.  To keep you company.

Yes, I met our grandson.  He's just like you.  Everyone sees his mother in him, his great grandfather, but later on, when he's learned to talk, when he's older and interacts with his family and the world, they will all see that he is just like you.  He is gentle and an observer.  He will love animals and colors and see the world like you do; because he will look to you as much as he looks to his mother for this.  She is her mother's daughter and together, you and she will guide him and he will be a beautiful soul.  He will change the world one person at a time, just like you do.  You do not see how your kindness affects the people you meet through your job.

I wish I could be there to help ease your aches and pains.  I wish I could fix your arm.  I wish, oh how I wish I could be there with you.  But know that, as much as I can, I am with you.  You made it Christmas every day for me with your love.  

I am now and evermore your husband.  Remember my promise to you, my wedding vow?  It wasn't "till death do us part."  It was "until the sun grows cold and the stars grow old."  So look to the heavens.  The sun still burns hot and the stars are all still so very young.  You and I have Eternity.

~ Dragon



Thursday, November 13, 2014

enlightenment

it has been 5 years 9 months. 

i am doing okay.  i still stress about work, money.  even though i have improved my living situation, {i love my Sanctuary} i have lingering fears that bad things will happen.  it's a sickness that i struggle with daily.  i'm working on it.

i miss him and i think of him.  not constantly but every day.  i wonder where he is ~ really.  i wonder how he feels, what he's doing, if anything.  all the stories and movies in the world cannot tell you what being gone from this life is truly like.

only when we ourselves pass will we know.  enlightenment.  finally finding out.

will he be there waiting for me?  will God be there and ........ will He accept me as i am?

enlightenment.  scary stuff.

because when it is my time to go, i cannot say "let me stay a little longer."

because when i go, i'll finally know.

and once you know, you cannot un-know it.

i'm hurting inside.  i guess you can tell.

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.