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 25, 2009

letter to my husband

my dear, sweet dearest, my husband,

i miss you. tomorrow it will be six long, weary months since you died so suddenly, so frighteningly sudden, and i don't know what kind of shape i'll be in. i know i'm going to hide from the world. but i don't know how i'll tackle each hour that ticks by. will i be able to sew? will i be able to work on anything? what will i do all day long alone with just my thoughts and memories of you?

if i could send this letter to you i would first want you to know that i love you still, always will. i think of you every minute. that sounds obsessive but it's not really. i think of you the way i always thought of you, even when we were in the same room together. my life is linked to yours. my heart, my soul, my thoughts were of us as a couple and that way of thinking hasn't stopped simply because your heart did. you were always such a presence. larger than life. people noticed you wherever we went and either gravitated to your smile and gregarious nature or got out of your way if your eyes told them to. you were like my very own guard dog. i loved that feeling of safety. i had never had it, not even as a child. so first, let me say that i love you and i will not stop. no one can step in my field of view and dim even the memory of you. no one will capture my soul as you did.

the second thing i'd want you to read would be a lie. i know. lying is wrong, but this kind of lie is not. it is a lie to protect you. i'd lie and say i'm doing okay. i am in a way but in other ways i am not. i need you. i am back in the abyss with you know who. money. our girl's wedding. just surviving. he's out there in the darkness. i can hear him. he's laughing. i'm alone and so very tired. and i can't stop to rest or dedicate myself to grieving fully and wholly so i can get past it. i have to walk this minefield so my brain is split. grieve. where am i compared to where he is. grieve. wait. he moved. what do i do now? step this way, avoid the hidden mine. grieve. miss you. cry. damn. he did something else. stop and think. work. work. worry. grieve. so the second thing i would tell you is that i'm doing okay. i'm going to keep breathing, keep living after a fashion, and i won't let anyone get behind me. i'll keep my back to the wall like you taught me. thank you for that. thank you for all you taught me. thank you for your strength and belief in me. so, i'm doing okay.

third, i don't know. is there a third thing? i've found a way to earn money for myself. i make quilts now like i did for us. i take in clothing and make Memory Quilts. i think it helps people. i see something indescribable in their faces when they see their finished quilt for the first time. i think maybe it's going to be one of those things that they will cherish and fully get the emotional impact of much later, when i am far out of the picture. when they are alone with their quilts in the night and can touch them and wrap them around themselves.

i'm working on one for me. it's taken me longer than it should because i work on everyone else's first, then all the things i'm making for our girl's wedding, and then if i'm not too tired, i work on mine. after the wedding, i'll be able to really work on mine parallel to the others.

i guess that's all i can think of for a six month milestone like this. six months. i can't imagine it. your birthday is coming up, too, and 5 days after that our wedding anniversary. since you won't be actually reading this letter, i'll just say i don't think i'm going to make it. well, i'll make it because i have to, but i intend to wallow. i'm going to sulk and cry and curl in a ball and hug my Marine Dress Blues teddy bear that i put two of the mini medals you had on. i'll look at your picture and dream of your smile, your laugh, your warmth, and your love. i'm going to miss you so much that i know i'll think my heart will shatter - again. it's already so fragile with the burden of this grief and dealing with the wedding politics.

what is it about weddings that bring out the worst in people? the day belongs to the bride and groom. whatever they want is what should be. her veil. her ring pillow. her aisle runner. she's asked me to make it all and i am. she asked me to draw her wedding cake for the baker and i did, exactly to her dreams. i'm being tactful. i'm being quiet like i always am. but i'm making sure she gets what she wants and that no one gets upset with her. they can get upset with me.

since i'm such an unknown here, i can get away with just doing things silently and not explaining myself. but they did see all the things i'm making and they love my handwork, all the colors. i think people get nervous when someone says "handmade." they prefer machines to do things for them and have forgotten that sometimes handmade can be just as pretty and maybe even more special. you always loved my quilts, and my embroidery on your jeans. you didn't feel emasculated. you were always proud to say, "my wife patched my jeans."

so i guess this is really all i can say. i hate to stop this letter. i really feel like i'm talking to you. as if we're on one of those instant message venues, only i'm doing all the talking. you're not winking at me. ;o) no flirting. nothing. but i know you would if you could.

i know you'd talk to me if you could. i know you'd reassure me if you were able. i know that if you could swing it with God, you'd once again be here beside me. in fact, i wouldn't be on the computer. i'd be sewing a quilt for us. or sitting beside you on the sofa with your arm around my shoulders.

i love you, husband. i always will. i will endure, but i know i will not "get over" the loss of you. you are too much my soul mate. you are too much my heart's desire. your empty space is far too empty.

i love you with all my heart.

good night, for now.

~ your wife


Widow in the Middle said...

I wish you a measure of comfort, healing and peace today. May some of your tears also be those of joyous remembrance. Let your heart continue to lead you where it needs to go.

Today is also one of tribute to you - for all that you've had to face, all the changes that have had to be endured on your own. I hope that some of today will be spent in ways that will soothe and restore your soul.

I am sending you a hug in the shape of a soft, cozy comforter with the hopes that you will be wrapped up in loving memories of the past, along with the well wishes of those who care about you in the present.

Suddenwidow said...

Thinking of you today, as I have so many times this month while I've been away from the computer. I hope that today you were able to find some peace in your treasured memories and the fact that you've made it this far. As we are in the middle of such pain and loneliness, it is progress to make it through every day.

We just got home and we're starting to choose our fabrics this week. I'll be in touch soon. Please take care.


Ann said...

Beautiful letter. I've said and written those same thoughts. I'm sure they get to our sweethearts! Best of luck for these coming days. Birthday's, anniversaries, holiday's, all are tough to get through, especially all the "firsts" but as much as we don't want to - we do survive them, and we carry on.

J-in-Wales said...

Six months. It is such a long time and yet, at the same time, just a blink of the eye.
Wallow all you like, just get through the day as best you can. Then take some pride in the way you have coped with the awfulness of your loss, and enjoy the memories of the love you shared.

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