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.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What the Dragon Sees - Grief as Prose

This post is to mark the two and a half month passage of time since my husband's untimely death. It is for me. It is for anyone who has suffered a devastating loss. Laments are meant to be shared if for no other reason that for the desire of the sufferer to be heard. I feel old tonight. I feel the loss of him so deep around me that writing was all I could do. If the knowledge that I am hurting shows someone else that they are not alone out in the darkness of sorrow, then this public expose of pain was worth it.

Tomorrow my wit should return. But tonight, ah, tonight is for remembrance.

I love (loved) my husband. I hear other widows speak of having loved their husbands. They speak in the past tense though they do say they still carry that love but in a passive form. Passive is my word. They have told me that after a while my love will feel less intense than it did when he was alive and walked into a room. Is that true? Does love go through a transition after the one who is loved dies? Will I love him less actively? At this moment, tonight, a sticky, hot Friday night when I am alone with my shattered dreams and derailed life, I cannot imagine loving him in any different form than what I do at this moment.

I love him per Elizabeth Barrett Browning's criteria.

"Unless you can die when the dream is past —
Oh, never call it loving!"

I love him per William Shakespeare's criteria

"Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

I love him per Aristotle -

"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies."

I love my husband. He had the gift of knowing what I was thinking, and I was able to see inside him. We fit. Physically, we fit. His hand in mine. Toe to toe. We fit. Our natures complimented each other. His sense of adventure pulled me out of my shell because I wanted to be wtih him so much, be in his presence, follow his lead, and go see what he saw. My quiet study of him allowed me to gently free him from the horrors of war that he kept suppressed. All I had to do was hold out my hands and ask him to give them to me for safe-keeping. And I have.

He is a dragon disguised as a Marine, disguised as a man. He is no less those things because he has died. He is still a Marine. He is still a dragon. He always will be. Legends grow with the telling and retelling of stories that are true.

I love him. This is my poem to him. I wrote it to him while we were still dating, while he was coaxing me out of the shadows where my soul lived for a great many years.

fill your eyes with what you believe you see.
love so blind should be treated with care.
i will not hide in shadows dark
but boldly approach strong hands scarred
in battles with evil men,
and beg them to touch me.
close your eyes that reality does not crowd too close
and let this woman,
humbled by your attention,
give you her love plus all she owns:
her words.
let her give you her thoughts
that come from a tattered heart
that has been laid before a Dragon
blinded by what he believes he sees.

He saw into my soul and I saw into his. He liked himself better than I ever did me, but he managed to show me the me he saw. I knew him better than he knew himself and I showed him the monster he thought he was, was a weary soldier whose name was hero.

Good night to all who weep.
Good night to all who cry.
Close your eyes and try to sleep.
Give up to the angels all your sighs.


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