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.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

my daughter and me ~ missing my husband and our cove

our cove. i wish somehow i could have managed to still be there. but i'd be more or less at the end of the world out there.

today my daughter and her fiancee's mother and grandmother picked me up and we went to order the wedding cake. so much talk about everything. i stayed quiet and listened. her fiancee's grandmother wanted to pay for the cake. so nice of her. her contribution is most gratefully appreciated. but both women were telling my daughter what she needed to do, what she should want. they neither one were really listening to her.

i took one of the napkins the lady had given us to taste some choices and i started drawing while listening to what my daughter wanted. i drew the cake she was dreaming of. i silently nudged her the napkin and signed quickly under the table, "this is what i hear you saying. if so, get what you want. it's your wedding. yours."

she smiled and nodded, then took the napkin and placed it on the table and said, "this is what i want. it's understated. it will be less expensive but it's also perfect for me. this is what i want." and that's what was ordered. both of the other women were simply being overly helpful and my daughter needed to just step up a little bit.

after the bakery, my daughter and i were taken to Michael's to get other things for the wedding that i really have no idea what for. they bought nothing. i think today was just an excuse for shopping but it was 5 hours away from my sewing and quilting here. my daughter and i followed in the wake of her fiancee's mom and grandmother. we talked when we were spoken to, otherwise we signed to each other so no one would understand our conversation.

i wasn't doing well today and my daughter, of course, sensed it. she and i are very close, always have been. she learned ASL with me/for me when i started slowly losing my hearing a few years ago. i have horrible tinnitus that goes through my head like a nail sometimes. nothing to do about it. my husband used to do this cool thing with my feet, rubbing them and flexing my ankles to either distract me or help me relax and it always worked. it didn't diminish the tinnitus but it made me feel so much better. i can't do it for myself. it was just something he did for me one day when i couldn't hear him over the din in my ears.

the pressures of this wedding that i'm keeping off her, shielding her from, playing mediator, and shielding her from her dad as much as possible is wearing me out with the depression i feel over this weekend's 6 month milestone of my husband's death quickly being followed by his birthday and our wedding anniversary.

i'm so tired. i feel bad when i'm told that i need to remember how much he loved me. i do remember. i don't want these blogs, my writings of grief to give the impression that i sit here and wallow day after day and think he stopped loving me because he died. i am simply grieving for him. i want something i can't have. i want him and it's not childish behavior or being petulant or sacrilegious to wish he were here with me right now.

i'm tired of the money situation.....the fact that i don't have any. i work my tail off for so little and make it stretch so far. i'm paying for so much of this wedding and making so many things for my daughter simply because i can't afford to buy them. her dad, Lord, her dad just....what do i say? i've had to sit alone on the phone and literally beg. i've had to cut deals and be dictated to, be criticized about my Memory Quilt business, about how little orders i have, should be better at marketing myself, how i'm failing in getting it off the ground faster. every time i have to talk to him about something it's like i've been hobbled and forced to run a gauntlet being beaten by horse crops and coat hangers. don't ask me how i know what that feels like.

but i do it for her. i'd do anything for my children. the job isn't over just because they are grown. they still don't know what to do when they see it coming. they still get afraid. or they get too hurt or angry to strategize properly. it's an acquired skill. i wasn't born knowing how to do this. i learned from a very early age to read calculation and anger and malevolence in people's body language and voices.

i wish my husband were here. all this would go so smoothly. my husband would have figured a way out for him and i to pay for this. he always did come up with the money my children needed. he always answered the phone if "he" called so "he" would know i wasn't vulnerable anymore. my husband would sit beside me when i had to do my thing. then he'd take my hand and we go for a walk down on the beach of our cove.

the wind, the salt air, the gulls, the waves. it soothed me. his hand in mine as we'd walk out across the rocks and look northeast to what i thought of as my island. isla womanNshadows. i'd tell him we just needed to move to the abandoned light keeper's house and live there away from everyone. he'd tell me everything was going to be alright. he'd tell me we were in this together, that no matter what hell life brought us, it brought it to us. us. our lives may be hell but our marriage was a blessing. it was everything i'd ever wanted my life entered into that sacrament to be. i love him so much. he inspired awe in me. and he loved me for exactly who i was. it amazed me that he found anything of value in me. but he did and i now know that one person loved me. i have that on my resume.

my children love me because i am their mom, because they know what i've sacrificed for them, and that i would give up my life for them. they love me because i'm cool to know. but they have their own lives also. i gave them that. self-sufficiency and freedom. they just need me for this one last thing. protection.

it's still my husband and me. it's still us but he's the silent partner now. now it's me that has had to get back up in the line of fire for guard duty. and God forgive me but i am so tired. i miss him more on days when i've had to beg and think so fast on my feet. i sit at home and look at my husband's picture, that smiling face of his and i want him back so much. i'd handle it every day all day long....i'd endure anything if i could just fall into bed with him and fall asleep beside him. if i could just feel his fingers combing my hair as i closed my eyes. have his deep voice in my ear telling me everything is going to be alright.

the tinnitus is pretty bad tonight and i didn't get to go to the cove after dealing with "him." i'm no where near the ocean anymore. i just have to endure this. it's the gift that is my life.

i love you, husband. one minute more. i'm going to hang on one minute more. i learned how to do that when i was a very little girl. i endured childhood. then i endured the first marriage. then i was blessed with you and hanging on one minute more was easier with you beside me. i love you. i'll love you forever. i'm still hanging on.


Widow in the Middle said...

I wish there was something I could do from my long-distance end here to guarantee you an entire day of peace and quiet, where you can be comforted by the love of your husband and not have to handle any of the recent conflicts you've been enduring.

Your post so accurately describes what it is like to be living with grief while trying to go on living. It is dealing with two totally different worlds. Talk about exhausting!

You have been focusing so much on others, I hope you can give yourself a bit of that same attention.

You put into words so many aspects of what it is like to really grieve and face tremendous loss. I hope those who are led to your words can better understand the depth of pain those of us have had to face in this situation.

I'll be thinking of you today - you've inspired me to go to Michael's just to take a moment for myself and browse. Know that I'm out there and with you 110% in spirit!

womanNshadows said...

thank you so much. this connection here through your kind and thoughtful comments helps me feel connected in a way to the world out there. it's hard not having a car and working from home though i wouldn't trade being able to work from home for having to keep up a brave front and a happy smile right now. it would be too much. i feel like i haven't advanced on that stages of grief thing beyond abject misery.

i sometimes read your blogs and your comments back to me and wish we actually knew each other and lived close enough to go to Michael's together then talk over a nice lunch. just a break from this misery to be able to laugh with someone who knows what it feels like to be on this particular journey. the other woman i know who i went to dinner with the other night did so to run it by me that she's engaged now and planning her wedding. she is so busy with these new plans and with her young children. we're in vastly different places, she and i. a good person but so happy that i cannot bring myself to share my pain to any real degree.

thanks for thinking of me.

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