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, 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.

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.