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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the bell in the fog

i just got an email from a woman who was reaching out to me. a stranger who gave me her phone number in case i wanted to talk. i do and i don't. what do i say to an absolute stranger? a face i've not seen? i walked to the Loew's that is about a mile down the road one morning for a larger clay pot for my lavender and i broke down to the checkout clerk. for a moment i couldn't find my debit card. i panicked and she was very sweet, a woman close to my own age whose husband worked in the lumber department there but whose sister lived with them, moved in after her husband was killed in a convenience store robbery.

i found the debit card and admitted i was a recent widow for whom little things break me. still. probably will for a while. i'm so poor. so broke. and i work so hard for the little i earn off the quilts and things.

so the reaching out email caught me by surprise. i loved that someone saw how badly off i am doing emotionally and i want to call, but i cry so much. it would be pointless. and there is nothing, nothing they can do for me. and the link that was offered up to a blog that has taken off. so many have huge amounts of followers. they write of friends and family, of whom, "without them i wouldn't have survived this." i have to be honest, completely honest here and say to read things like that brings a bitter laugh. my life has been so much less. and yet i'm still here. so much bad and yet, like that scene in Steve McQueen's film Papillon where he says, "I'm still here, you bastards," i'm still here. but i'm also still getting backhanded, still getting hurt. Job, from the Book of, and i should get together and talk.

two things.

one, my ex-husband is now back on the peripheral of my life and cranking up for the rest of my life, to control, to verbally slap me. in contact with him for financial help for my daughter's wedding. deals with the devil. not even the devil. that's too much credit. he's the ground maggot on the hoof of the devil but he's the one i have to work with. i don't bother with hating him. that, again, gives him too much credit. God, the strings attached to that money and when i read Split Second Single Father's words, and other widowers words for their daughters, i weep for my own. she is a wonderful, beautiful girl. young woman. she wants her step-father back as much as i do. our Marine. my husband. it is so unfair to take him now when the demon is still so near.

two, there is a woman from my husband's high school who found his name on who is hounding me. i've blocked her from every angle but she keeps popping up like a rat finds a way inside a house. she's had one of her friends contact me. she's tried to "befriend" my husband on facebook and myspace. i keep both those sites up because i get contacted by his former Marine mates through there. i block, block, block. but it's her words before i realized what she was. "we were engaged before he went off to Vietnam. i'm sorry you have to tell me, a stranger to you, but not to him, that he has died. we meant so much to each other......." she found him after he died. why she's doing this i'll never know. it's been almost 40 years. she saw his picture on myspace. she was wanting so reconnect. she'd missed him. she knew a wife somewhere had been mentioned in connection with him......... the melodrama. i don't have the time or energy. i also don't have the strength. nor do my tear ducts. why this gets to me i can't explain. why i cry, again, no idea. i'm just low right now. really, really low. i'm treading water as it is and i don't need this weight. and to tell me to "snap out of it, forget her," would be a low blow. i'm trying to dismiss it as a woman off her meds. i block. i'll keep blocking. i don't read anymore.

i know of her. my husband told me of his life, childhood stories, of being drafted his senior year in high school. of worrying he would go to Vietnam and be killed. he told me he'd asked a girl to marry him and had been engaged all of two months before logic took over. he wanted a career in the Marines. he didn't want Vietnam but it was part of being a Marine and he was going because it was his duty. she had told him she hated the military and wanted him to quit. you don't quit the draft. anyway, they broke up and he went to Vietnam for three tours, and had a lifetime in the Marines.

Me? i love him. i have an enormous amount of respect for the Marines. i am proud to say, "my husband is a Marine, Force Recon." he is my hero.

but the fog is all around me now. i don't know which way to go so i'm not going anywhere. my beloved is gone. there is no hand holding mine on this beach, or in this tumultous water. i feel like i've gotten so lost that i'm probably fighting it too hard, trying to find footing, even if it's shifting sand. i'm on constant watch against my ex-husband. i'm having to play an old, old game of "you're not going to hurt her, hurt me instead. i'm the one you want to hurt." i hate that game. i played it for 20 years until i could get away. i'm angry that my Marine had to die. everyone knows that when the situation is hopeless you call in the Marines. i need him.

i got a phone number from a stranger who offered an ear. a woman from my husband's 18th year is wildly hounding me with her love for him that she never got over.

the fog is close all around me and i don't know where to turn. my grief for him, my memories of his smiles and his love are the only real things in my life right now.

there is a story of a blind man who would swim in the ocean while his wife stayed onshore ringing a bell for him to hear so he could return safely to the beach. he swims and swims, confident in that bell and his own independence. blindness will not keep him from doing what he loves. he tires and pauses, treading water. he listens for the bell and hears its comforting sound. he swims towards that sound. ding. ding. ding. it's closer now. the water is getting choppy now and he realizes he's swum for a long time. but the bell sounds a little inconsistent. his wife must be as tired of ringing the bell as he is of swimming. so with renewed energy, love for his wife, confidence in that sound coming through the fog of his blindness, he swims on towards the mile marker in the channel.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

left out in the fog on the 5 month milestone

tonight at midnight it will be 5 months.

i'm not sure when the word recent gets taken away from in front of the word widow (or widower, to not leave anyone out), and i'm not sure how i feel other than left. not behind. not abandoned. he didn't want to go, i'm sure. but i feel left.

it's all the usual stuff. i wish i could have talked to him about this. about that. i wish i could have looked him deeply in the eyes and said fervently, in that voice of awe that i had for him, "honey, i love you." i wish he could have stayed longer. i wish we'd had more time.

it's also all the usual stuff of after a spouse dies, i guess, especially if you moved around like we did and we were each other's best friend. there's no one there to talk to. i have my children but even their lives have progressed while i feel like i'm being dragged in their wake. i don't want to go anywhere. i want to stay here. metaphorically. i want to stay right here and have the time to sit, and ponder, to sleep (if only i could - i'm so tired still - only Tylenol PM knocks me out and i worry about taking it every freakin' night), to just breathe in this abrupt change. i've had none of that. i moved the day of the funeral. i've hustled to create a job for myself. i have sought out a widow's group. there are a handful of people who actually know my face now. can call me by name.

it's kinda sad how the group is about being able to reach out and call each other. i've had a very hard couple of weeks due to an outside body slam from someone. out of the blue they decided to reach into my chest and backhand my already bleeding heart. this person knows i'm a widow. knows how much i adore my husband. knows that i am suffering, and still. she did it. with intent.

so i called and emailed the first person in the group that i felt closest to. she hasn't responded. i tried another. and another. and another. and i tried calling and emailing the facilitator of the group. nada. not a sound.

there was this day that my husband and i walked Long Beach in Rockport. it was a Fall day, heavy with fog, a sullen sky that seemed depressed and censoring. menacing with the promise of rain turning to sleet later. our kind of day. so spiritual. we took our two Scotties and walked. the only people on the beach. we would try to talk but our voices were muffled by the heavy sky. we had to be standing next to each other to hear each other. it was a nice day.

right now it feels like i'm walking a beach in a fog, but it's not nice at all. it's frightening. i'm alone. my husband can't help me. he isn't here to talk to. he isn't here to hold my hand. he isn't here to hold me. my husband, my best friend, has died and i'm alone in the fog. i've called out to people. living people here. not online names without faces. i've tried to find a human being to talk to about this pain and no one is there. i'm alone on the beach. i'm having to bounce my thoughts off myself and it's a lonely process, especially when i have a whole list of people who are supposed to be aware we are all out here and might need an ear. but they have established friends and family, and another holiday is coming for just that set of people.

Fourth of July. i'll be home alone. sewing on my quilts. working on the embroidery for my daughter's wedding aisle runner. the Twilight Zone marathon will be on Sci Fi channel.

it will be the best i can do since no one can hear my voice calling from the fog.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

poem to mark 136 days without daisies

my heart is completely shattered,
my world has been blown away.
on a handful of unpredictable breaths,
i changed from a wife to a stray.

i'm a widow in a world halfway frozen
with glib condolences tossed in my lap.
my life has been completely derailed
and i haven't yet found any map.

that i miss you, that's a given.
that it's this bad, nobody knows.
i cry everyday and even little things hurt
i have no highs, only lows.

i want you back, like your death never was
i can't live without you near.
the world grows colder while my heartache builds
the timeframe of my sorrow is clear.

i'll grieve for you my whole life long
such is my love, my connection to you.
you mattered more than you ever knew
there's nothing left here for me to do.

so i'll wait and i'll live because that's all that's left
i just work to numb the heartache.
i'll wait for you for as long as it takes
and paste on a smile that is fake.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

a bridal quilt, a dead husband, and a can of Raid

while i work on the Memory Quilts for the widows and widowers who contact me, i've been working on my daughter's bridal quilt. it's almost finished, still in the frame being quilted and i hope i can get it finished for her wedding day. Sept. 12.

it's a pretty dove and heart design i found in a book a long while back and started for her. everything is hand-appliqued and then the quilting. i must have a million and a half stitches in this thing. she's told me she doesn't care if it's finished in time for the wedding, to show her guests, but i want it done, and for a purely selfish, childish reason. her father and stepmother are coming to the wedding. and i want two things done before then. i want the quilt finished and i want to drop another ten pounds. or maybe it's one thing. i want to feel better about myself. i'm not demanding it but it would be nice. just a little bit of the worth i felt because of my Marine. *sigh*

i had an old fashioned conniption yesterday afternoon late and it all rolled into this one concept. i have to live without him. he died and there's nothing i can do to alter that reality. life will forever be like this, this alone stuff, this facing life's little problems by myself. i have to deal on a day-to-day basis with all the crap that life brings as a little gift to remind us that we can be toyed with.

i was so tired at 3 PM yesterday because i'd not fallen asleep until after 3 AM and was up at 7 AM. no reason. just couldn't sleep, again. i broke down and took a Tylenol PM and blessed sleep came , but the dogs had been sleeping fine long before me and needed to go out. so i'm up. i worked on the quilts until i simply needed to nap. i have my mattress by the window so i can watch any lightning storms at night. well, there were these little tiny ants on the sill, on the glass, on the sides, crawling around like a Sci Fi Channel Most Dangerous Night on Television. i pulled the bed out. i used a sponge and Comet and a vacuum, and they the stragglers would wiggle out from a crack in the wall by the window. i got so upset for some reason. i guess because it hasn't been a week since they supposedly sprayed.

i ripped my thumbnail. did i mention that? i hit it and it ripped straight down, not across, straight down into the cuticle and it hurt like a (insert your favorite curse word here). oh my good Lord i cursed and it bled and i cried and i, yeah, i wanted him there.

i was hurt and upset and those stupid ants were making a mockery of my efforts and i wanted him there so badly that my chest hurt, my throat hurt. my heart broke all over again.

i cleaned the entire apartment. everything got vacuumed and wiped with Comet and then sprayed with that Febreze stuff and i lit candles and cried the whole time. but the whole thing broke me when i saw those little black ants still poking their enduring heads out, then one-by-one start coming back. i broke down and called my daughter. she was getting off work in half an hour and i asked her to bring me a can of Raid.

she brought it and helped me finish up. then she made me promise to not do anything else for the rest of the night. so after she left, i made garlic toast and mac and cheese, covered it in catsup - the mac and cheese not the bread , that would just be gross - and ate.

then i worked on chillinwithlemonade's quilt back.

all this quilting keeps me occupied, brings me much needed money, and gives me self-worth. i am doing it for myself and love doing it for those in mourning for reasons that i feel deeply about. as i see it, i take clothes, adrift now without an owner, and create something that can be held, stroked, and wrapped around the left behind.

i've been left behind. that's sometimes how it feels. i feel lost, adrift, isolated, and lonely for him. so lonely for just him. he made me feel special. he loved me. i could see it in his eyes. and i've never had that before. not from my parents' and not from my first husband. my children love me, yes, but now that they're grown and have their own lives, it's a look over their shoulder or to their left or right kind of love. it's a "okay, there's mom and she's doing alright so i'll go back to doing this" kind of love. they're looking forward. i remember feeling that way, right up until my own mother was diagnosed with cancer and i quit college and moved into the hospice to live with her while she died. something like that jerks you up short. i don't want to jerk them up short. i'm here. i'm enduring. i'm just sad, sad, sad. did i mention that i miss him to a degree i never thought a human being was capable of?

so not in defiance of my daughter's wish for a restful night, it was out of a need born in loneliness that i worked on the quilts. i need them as much as the people who want them do.

they are my self-worth. i have to give it to myself now that my husband has died. and i need all the self-worth i can gather. because the creep and the creepess of Maine are coming to my daughter's wedding. they've already started emailing with how we should do things and all the wonderful things the creepess would like to see.

i'm ignoring everything. my daughter is ignoring them. i'm going to bring the can of Raid.

Monday, June 15, 2009

sometimes it's just too much

i have spent the entire day sewing. i didn't realize it was so late until my dogs were begging for supper. i got a lot done though. i finished completely, folded and waiting, a quilt for one of the women in my widow's group. i also finished cutting and fitting the pieces of the quilt back of chillinwithlemonade's quilt. i'll sew it together tomorrow. then the borders, binding, and then the batting. quilted. done. it will be completed in time for her.

but my thoughts stayed on my husband. even with all the sewing, i was suffering. i tried listening to music. every song had a hidden agenda today. i tried the family channel. i cried during "Full House."

my dogs needed to go outside for a walk after they ate and a guy in my building had his dog outside off leash. the little thing was running everywhere, not listening, causing people coming home to have to wait on it. crazy little thing. still a puppy really. i blame the man. my dogs were barking like crazy. how dare that other dog walk their kingdom. from the second floor balcony, all they survey is theirs. silly little scotties, but i don't ever have them outside off leash. if my husband had been here, he would have hollered off the balcony to put the dog on a leash so we could walk outside.

if he'd been here, we would have gone outside instead of me hiding inside and making my dogs wait.
if he were here, i wouldn't be so lonely.
if he were here, i wouldn't have cried today.
if he were here, but to go down that road is torture and pointless. it does more harm than good.

at the group last Thursday, the facilitator asked us to finish this sentence: "I wish....."

before she even started calling on us to respond, my jaw was hurting. my heart was hurting. my mind was silently screaming, "no. don't go there." i remembered that old saying, 'if wishes were horses then beggars would ride.'

i wish he were here. someone said it first. i said, "ditto." she wouldn't let me go with that. but that's all i wish for. i wish he were here. i wish he hadn't had to go. i wish he were with me now and i wasn't on this stupid computer writing that i wish he were here with me.

sometimes it's just too much.

he was the best man in the world - for me. everyone of us had the best man or woman in the world. he was mine. i love him so very much. i miss him so very much. i need him so very much.

i wish he were here with me right now. i'd get off this computer and go sit with him. he'd put his arm around me, or his hand on my leg, and we'd watch some television together. then go to bed and fall asleep safe, quiet, not alone. together. my hand on his chest. the feel of his heartbeat under my palm. and then, i'd drift off.

sometimes it's really just too much. such a setback today. 126 days today. an anniversary every week. i haven't let it go yet. it feels like i'm going to have to start over tomorrow at ground zero. day one feelings. maybe it will be different but right now, i just don't know.

Friday, June 12, 2009

missing someone is an art unto itself

i think about him every minute of every day. it's only been 17 weeks, 4 days, and 12 hours. i miss him. there's an art to missing someone, being this lonely. i keep track of the time. i can't stop myself from doing it. i have always kept numbers in my head, always counted. i count the little holes in utilitarian ceiling tiles in public places. i count the tiles on the floor. i count wooden slats, parts that make up a whole, clouds, cars, it is a habit that i've always had. my father said he did it to. never out loud, always in my mind. i now count the days and weeks since my husband died. i won't say the months because i cannot think in terms of that sound that long. a week is a collection of days but a month is a collection of weeks and i am not ready to face that. 17 week, 4 days, 12 hours, and 10 minutes.

a woman at the group last night said she can't look too far into the future because she can't imagine it without her husband. i almost lost the rigid control i held over myself. i was so tired before i even got to the meeting last night i almost didn't go. but it's my only outside contact with a world that has largely forgotten me. but she said the words out loud. future without him in it. my teeth hurt from clenching them so tightly.

a few of the women talked of their anger at God, at him leaving. i haven't felt anger yet. i don't know if i ever will. our relationship was one that came out of the ashes of our lives. we were found mates, discovered after a trek through one form of hell on earth. but in the darkness he found me and i found him. we were so grateful. we were so happy. his eyes, always shining for me. his lips, that smile of wonder and delight that we were together. my always looking at him, and when caught, we both blushed. he is such a handsome man to me. powerfully built, scars from his life as a Marine, his soul tired from worry about how he would be perceived by God.

he had told me many times that he had long ago accepted he was going to Hell for what he'd been asked to do. i knew he could not possibly be damned because of his honor and his contrition. we told each other every day how much we loved and valued the other. i know he didn't want to go so how can i be angry at him?

as for God? who am i to question Him? with the promise of peace, how can i deny my husband the fulfillment of that promise after the life he'd led? if it had been an earthly situation of his life for mine, i would have gladly sacrificed for him. so how can i now be angry at God for granting my husband's soul peace? no matter what pain it brings me that my husband has died, i cannot feel anger at God for that gift.

i kept thinking about my husband, about how much i love him, how much i wish he were here with me planning our daughter's wedding. she so much wanted him to walk her down the aisle. she's more than a little worried about her biological father making a power play and ruining things. i told her it wasn't going to happen. i told her i knew how to take care of it. when she asked me how, i just told her to call her future mother-in-law, a lovely woman, and figure out what day we can all go watch her try on wedding gowns. she smiled. she knows when i'm deflecting, but she also knows i want her to have a happy day, and a happy few weeks making all the arrangements. it's her time right now. it's my time to step back up. our Marine can't be here to do it so it's up to me to protect her. i'm back on guard duty. i'd done it for eighteen years, right up until i met my Marine. i can do it again. i know the rules. i've played before.

but when i'm alone, which is 99% of the time, i sigh, and i mourn, i grieve, and i write. i wrote this poem. it's elementary in it's structure but i feel like a child today. i'm sad and cranky and i hurt so much from longing for his voice, his laugh, his being physically near. near enough for me to touch. near enough for me to play the girl card and ask him to hug me, to hold me, to whisper in my ear and make me smile. i miss him in ways there are not words for. my soul misses his love. my mind misses his intellect. my heart misses his laugh.

i slept while he was in my life. i didn't have to keep one ear to the ground. i didn't have to think of an escape plan for one woman and two children while i was his wife. i had been looking for a dragon of a man, and he was exactly that, but so much more. i've lost so much.

do you ever think of me?
do you wish you knew,
if i was tired or happy or
if i was sad or blue?

do you wonder where i am?
do you wonder who i see?
if you knew how sad i am right now
could you send a sign to me?

do you ever ask "what if?"
do you ever want to cry?
if time is supposed to heal all wounds
does that mean my love will die?

do you ever think of me?
do you say my name?
since you've died, are gone from me,
i will never be the same.

17 days, 4 days, 12 hours, and 38 minutes. sigh.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

rescinded gift

it's a pretty day here today.  going to be hot.  that's okay.  i don't care one way or the other.  i'm tacking back and forth between numb and in tears these days.  i had thought there might be progress but there's not any that i can see.  i'm still emotionally in the same place i was the day i finished unpacking here sixteen weeks ago.  i'm not any better at all.  can't see it in my face, in my writing, especially in my private journal.  setbacks.  maybe it's my fault.  i just can't seem to let go.  i miss him so much.  i need him more each day for little things, for big things.  i just need to fall into his arms and be in his embrace.  to feel him nuzzle my hair and caress my face like he used to.  he always blushed but also got emotional when i held him.  i adore him and told him so.  i was so thankful and grateful to have him.  after such a disastrous first marriage, having him find me in the darkness was a gift from God.  then God rescinded the gift.  i don't know why.  i don't think this is one of those things we're meant to know.  but the cost of his dying is untold.  i don't think God thought this through.  i'm sorry, God.  just my humble opinion.

i've cut off all my hair and people at the widow(er)s group think i look better.  my daughter took me to supper last Sunday night at her future in-laws house so we could discuss wedding plans and they thought i looked better.  they met me three weeks after i got here, one month after my husband died, so yeah, i guess i don't look so shell shocked.  they said i'd lost weight.  i have.  eleven pounds.  it's called grieving, not eating well and frenetic energy.  i finished my first quilt for someone in the group.  she needed it by July 1 and since i don't own a sewing machine i have been working fourteen to sixteen hours a day to get it all done in time with time to spare.

such meandering thoughts still.  at the supper Sunday night, there was a couple there, the parents of my daughter's finance's father.  my daughter tried to warn me before we got inside but didn't get a moment to because everyone met us in the driveway.

the mother of the father of the groom has problems, my daughter told me on the way home.  my daughter's future mother-in-law called me Monday to apologize profusely for all the things that were said to me that night.  this woman, the mother of the father of the groom, (Lord, i hope you can follow this), found out that my husband had died 17 weeks before and she reveled in it.  she asked how he died.  she said her husband had had the same heart attack but the doctors had saved him.  they had better doctors.  her husband was a better person.  she found out my husband's funeral was on Valentine's Day.  she laughed and said, "look at this diamond ring i got on Valentine's Day while you were burying your husband."  everyone was shocked; so shocked they couldn't say a word to stop her.  she was on a roll.  she had a victim.  she talked relentlessly and ruthlessly about my being alone.  no one could distract her until her husband finally threw his napkin down on the table and carted her to the guest bedroom for her medicine.  yeah, it was obvious it was time.

i was numb.  and i wish i still was at this moment.  now my heart hurts.  and i'm crying, little moments of tears over and over all day Monday and now starting up again today.

and today is going to be a *itch of a day.  my daughter has it off and is coming over.  we're going to call her father and tell him she's set a wedding date.  she wants financial help.  and there will be a price to pay.  we have no way of knowing what that will be.  but there will be a price.  but if it's another pound of flesh i will doll it out like i always have.  she's my daughter and it another way of losing weight.  anything to protect her.  everything i have.

it makes me miss my husband all the more.  he protected us from my ex.  my ex-husband never dared trying to hurt us with my husband there.  my husband saw him do things, knew the badness that lay rotting behind his basset hound eyes.  my husband loved my children and me and never minded that we had scars.  he kissed and had healed every one.

but with my husband's death, i've been hauled back to square one and thrown in that cage of not having anyone who can help me.  of not having anyone who can or will stand up for me, protect me from my ex.  no one who will believe me.  no one who.....ah, never mind.  no one's listening.

Friday, June 5, 2009

my daughter set her wedding date

my daughter set her wedding date.  it's going to be a simple ceremony at home for now.  they'll get their marriage blessed in the Church later on when there's money for a more formal ceremony.  she called to tell me and it's taken me four days to be able to express this in writing.

my heart is happy for her.  she's a wonderful young woman.  twenty-five already.  on my birthday.  she was born on my birthday, 3 weeks late.  i was very ill carrying her and had to have emergency surgery to present her to the world.  as it was, i only got to hold her for 5 minutes, to kiss her before they knocked me completely out.  long story and not the point.

the point is that she and i both miss my husband so much.  the Marine, she thought of him as that until the day he stood up for her against her father.  he kept his hands fisted at his sides.  he never made a wrong move.  it was his voice and his eyes.  he let it be known that he would protect her.  he let it be known that her own father should not be the one she should have to be protected from.  with few words and a low tone, and those eyes of his, he shamed her father and thankfully he backed down.

i remember when she told me she wanted him to walk her down the aisle.  she didn't have a boyfriend at the time, but girls think about stuff like that.  she wanted him because in the short time she'd known him, he'd been more of a dad than her own had been all her life.

and now it's time for her to walk down the aisle.

and he's gone from us.

and it's killing me right now.

i'm making her dress, the flower arrangements, some of the food, designing the decorations with her, finishing her bridal quilt that i've been working on for two years, (yeah, i'll have to take a picture of it.  hundreds of thousands of hand stitches).  i'm even making carpet/rug thing, the path for her to walk down.  embroidery and applique flowers on it.  she's loving all the plans and what i can do for her.  i'm going to be the photographer for her wedding, too.

her father will come with his wife who, oh my Lord, do i dare sound so cliche?  the woman thinks i took all the money.  i didn't.  he lied to her.  he took the house, my car, the stocks, the 401K, and the bank accounts.  i got $1k to live on with two children.  i got the bills turned over to my name.  i got the debt and my fears deeply embedded.  i got behavior modified.    i've called a woman i met in the widow's group to come be with me at my daughter's wedding.  she didn't hesitate to say yes to me.  she knows how alone i'm going to feel on that day when my daughter is surrounded by her friends and her new husband's family who already adore her.  i'm her mom.  i'm always there for her.  i'm the seamstress, the designer, the researcher of her ideas and wishes for this event.  i'm the artist of the wedding.  i'm going to need a friend.  i am so grateful to this woman who knows me only as a recent widow, and the one who is making her husband quilts.

my son is walking my daughter down the aisle.  she's nervous about telling her father so she's coming over here next week on her day off and we're going to do it together.  i can't fight for myself, but i can fight for her.  i can make this happen so that her day is beautiful.

she wants a candle lit for my husband sitting beside a photograph of her and him together.  her dad.  the one she'd wished she had all along.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

i'm so sad tonight all i can do is write, and cry.

i don't know what to do with myself tonight.  i miss him so much.  he is the most important person to me, please know that doesn't mean i've forgotten my children, my children mean everything to me as well, but right now, they are fine and he is dead.  i can't say passed on, or gone on ahead, or all the other euphemisms for what happened.  he died.  he died and i am here without him and i am so lost and miserable without him.  

it's hit me so hard tonight.  almost a setback.  no, it is a setback.  four months without him.  his voice isn't in my ear.  his eyes aren't looking into mine.  his hand isn't in mine anymore.  his hand on the small of my back guiding me in front of him when we walk through a door, or past people on the street.  so many things missing from my life that came from him.  attention.  love.  peace of mind.  contentment.  security.  safety.  a person who would stand up for me.  a man who would let me coddle and protect him.  a man who needed me and valued me.  he never tired or me.  he loved me and now i don't have him to go to.  i don't have him to worry over, or tease, or grab his hand and entice to the beach.  

i miss him so much tonight.  i don't feel like i can do this and yet there is no other option.  i can't give up.  that won't get me to him.  i have to simply live one minute after the other and accept what life has brought me.  to my knees.

i love him.  i miss him.  i'm just having a very bad night tonight.  but i have sewing to do and i'm no where near being able to go to sleep.  i hurt too much.  i need to calm my mind and my heart.  my soul?  my soul will always be listening for his voice, reaching out into the dark for his touch, searching for sight of his silhouette, the comfort of the familiar sight of his big shoulders and his arms reaching back for me. 

i need to touch his clothes tonight so i think i'll go sew on my own husband quilt.  i need something tangible in my hands that belongs to him.

thank you, anyone, who may be listening.  i'm just so sad tonight.  see, i miss him a lot and i don't know what to do but write it out as i cry, and then go sew.

Monday, June 1, 2009

i was chastised about my grief

i wrote an article on my other site and a woman left a terse comment that wounded me and made me cry, then feel so angry and hurt.

i had written that my faith in Heaven was shaken since i watched my husband die in front of me.  he had been revived, or so they tell me, and rushed to the hospital, but he wasn't there 5 minutes when the doctor came to say there was nothing she could do, that he was "gone."

i wrote that in my darker moments, because at this time all my moments are dark, i worried if he was in Heaven, happy, at peace, still in love with me, or still remembered me.  i wrote it and quantified it for the article as the passing thoughts of grief that happen to a person and anyone feeling this way shouldn't feel alone in their journey.  and it's still true.  i worry about if he's alright where he is.  i worry if he'll get to come to me when i die.  i worry that i won't get to see him and it would kill my soul to not get to be with him forever.  everyone loves their spouse and i am no different.  i adore my husband.

but this woman left her comments and didn't see my writing for what it was, a lament from the darkest place in the heart.  she said:  "You hurt because you're suppose to hurt. You didn't love him if you didn't hurt a little bit.  Is it right to feel so sad-no it isn't. You are very wrong to feel like this.  It has been as you wrote over three months now.  You have all those good memories of your husband-focus on those and it should give you some comfort that he is still with you, but in heaven. I personally know that our loved ones who have passed still love us; they take that love with them. I personally believe their soul keeps on living but I have faith as you apparently do not.  Just work on all your projects-hopefully they will generate the revenue you need to take care of any medical and dental expenses-this is where you are supposed to move, this is all you need to focus on.  Maybe someday you will find God.  I will pray for your lost soul."

 i know this flies in the face of everything i've read, been told, and heard but still i cried over it.  i do have faith in God.  i do believe my husband is in Heaven.  i pray everyday, often say small things to God, directly to Him.  i also talk to my husband as well.  it wounded me, though, to not be understood when i had thought my writing was fairly clear.  so i left my own comment.  i told her that she had the right to her opinion but that i didn't think she used empathy while she read my writing.  i said that i did have faith but that it was not an abomination to worry and feel the darkness of doubts and fears; that even Mark Twain and C. S. Lewis wrote of their fears.  and even the Messiah, who is perfect, had His doubts and lamented from the cross, "my God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

if Jesus can ask that question, why can't i suffer through my fears and worries?  i think it is part of my particular and unique grief.  i know not everyone has that worry, but i have low self-esteem issues, even with regards to God.  who am i to expect God to hear me?  (you'd have to have read one of my other, older blogs to understand why i'm so beaten down.)

i just wanted to post this, to air it out and get it out of my system.  to tattle on someone who had hurt my feelings and made me cry.  she doesn't matter in the big picture, but she is now a small ugly blot on my picture.  i guess i shouldn't stand too close to look at it.