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, July 18, 2009

Gratitude to you and photos of the new stuff

First, I want to say here, publicly, how much I appreciate what Ann, Supa Dupa, and Widow in the Middle wrote to me on my last blog, Writing in the Sand. I was feeling more melancholy than actually horrible, but in writing it, I have to be honest in saying that I sort of stayed off the computer out of trepidation that no one had gotten on, or they wouldn't leave a comment. There seems to be so many grieving, so many sites that can be read. Mine is just another voice out there in the fog of those of us trying to find our way.

I write to get all the pain out. I write to talk about him and what he was and what he did for me, how great he was, and how very much we loved each other. There's no one else for me to really talk to, to monopolize the conversation and have it be all about him so I write.

But I do other things, too. The first photo you saw was the new Memory Quilt I'm still piecing together. It's for a little boy who is now 7 years old. His dad died 2 1/2 years ago. The big gray Henley is the shirt his dad wore the last time they took a photo of him and his dad together, I think the weekend before he died. I think about you guys and your stories when I make the quilts. This time I thought about this little boy's dad and how they would have been together. So I sewed the shirt as a whole. I am leaving the sleeves open and the bottom hem open so that as the little boy grows, he can slip into the shirt, wear it in a way, to see how big he's getting compared to the size his father was.

As soon as it's off the wall and in the frame, I'll be piecing together chillinwithlemonade's final quilt. And I'll have her in my thoughts, her relationship with her husband, and I'll try to make her something that I would want to be handed to me. Always you and your stories do I keep in my heart when I sew the quilts.

The second and third photos are the ring pillow for my daughter's wedding. I know. It's not white satin. She's not like that. She has a beautiful white satin and lace dress but she's also had me take off the white ribbon and bow around the waist and replace it with a purple one, and put an antique dragonfly pin in the middle of the bow.

My daughter is my wild gypsy girl, a true bohemian in how she perceives things visually. She loves earth colors, dragonflies, fairies, and butterflies. Her friend's 4 year-old daughter is the flower girl and she'll be handing out clothespin butterflies that have the happy couple's names and wedding date on the clothespin. We are getting together next week to sit and make them together. And while her flower girl is handing out butterflies, she'll be wearing tulle gypsy moth wings.

The last photo is the burlap aisle runner I'm embroidering. It will have flowers all over it. 8 feet of flowers. lol. 8 long feet of flowers, bees, dragonflies, their names, their wedding date, and more flowers. One type of flower is the daisy, for my husband, who sang that song I wrote about a few weeks ago, "A Daisy a Day."

In his honor the first chair, front row, will have standing in it a Teddy Bear wearing his Marine Corps dress blues with my husband's medals pinned to him. he has so many so we're picking the top four. My husband had a long career serving his country and my son and daughter and I are so proud of him. We wish he were here to walk her down the aisle but her brother will do that and the Teddy Bear in his dress blues with medals will have a place of honor. I'll post a picture of him from the wedding photos after her wedding in September.

I just want to say thank you for writing comments to me, for thinking of me, and most of all, for remembering me. I think of all of you I've gotten to 'know' and read. You all mean something to me, a very bittersweet and good something to me.

Peace to us all.


Ann said...

Wow! You are so talented! What a gift you create for others that are grieving. It is obvious to those of us who recognize it the special touches (like leaving the shirt open) that only another grieving soul might add. You are blessing many lives.

My husband’s son was married less than three months after he passed. It was joyful yet painful to be there without him. I wish you strength for your daughter’s wedding. The special touches you have added to it including the representational teddy bear will make it a sweet memory for her as well.

Keep writing – we’re reading, and sending you love through the Ethernet!

Widow in the Middle said...

Your handiwork is beautiful. I cried again reading about how you left the bottom of the t-shirt open for the son to "try on" as he grows. What a wonderful idea!

The ring pillow is gorgeous! I have to say that when you said you were using Spanish Moss and a butterfly from the craft store I could not imagine it. But it is far more lovely than I was picturing. I would love to see the butterfly favors you are making next week. I made my own knitted/felted butterflies for my guests at my second wedding. That the flower girl will be wearing wings is adorable!

The teddy bear tribute to your husband is such a beautiful tribute. I am glad you have a special day to look forward to in September.

I hope you are feeling less melancholy and I am glad you shared the photos of your works in progress.

Love and peace back to you.

womanNshadows said...

hello, Ann. thank you for your kind words. i'll continue to write. it's my way to tell his story, our story.

Widow in the Middle, thank you. i'll post photos of the little flower girl and the butterflies. and the teddy bear. as for melancholy, it was a little bit better day, busier. very much up and down. his birthday, the 6 month milestone, and our wedding anniversary are coming up so that week will be hell, i'll probably be a bit maudlin then but i'll muddle past it somehow. well, by writing. =o}

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the reply to my email. You're always in my thoughts and prayers.


J-in-Wales said...

I love seeing the pictures of your works as they progress. Your embroidery is so lovely. Please keep posting them.

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