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.

Monday, August 31, 2009

going out verses being alone

what's up with the gull face? it's my face. it's a face that says i could be friends with someone. how can you turn down a pensively weary yet valiantly strong face like that?

for the third time since my husband died, since i moved here to be close to my daughter, i went out to dinner. i only go out at night to the widow's group once a month, and twice since February they have skipped a meeting so i've only been to four meetings.

the first meal out was at my daughter's future mother-in-law's house. the second was with one of the widow's from the group. last night my daughter and her fiancee picked me up to have dinner with her fiancee's father. (her fiancee's parents are divorced and his mom has been remarried for about 4 or 5 years.) it was okay. three times, though, i almost called her to cancel claiming some small ailment but the sole purpose for the appointment was for me to meet this man. my daughter wanted me to meet him before the wedding so that it was gotten out of the way. now i've met everyone in the inner circle of her fiancee's life.

it's not the meeting that was odd. it was the going out that bothered me. i honestly don't know what's coming over me. am i slipping into this hermetic lifestyle to easily? is this a secondary side of grief no one told me about? why am i getting nervous to be away from my little apartment?

i can go out during the day to run errands. no problem. i have my list and my budget in mind. my daughter picks me up and i go and i return. i'm always glad to return.

i love it when i'm with my daughter. she and i are very close. she sighs heavily and i already know what's on her mind. my voice sounds funny on the phone and she knows i've been crying. we are in the middle of our transition into more than mother and daughter. we are becoming adult friends. better than friends because i am her mother but less of me being the guide and teacher i was when she was young.

i also love being with my daughter because we talk about my husband. i did mention him last night a few times but for the most part, i listened. i can talk, discuss, debate but i can quite easily be talked over. i stop talking and then can't find the bother to continue even when i'm given permission. i don't have any stories anyone wants to hear.

who wants to hear, well, "when my first husband pulled my son off the riding lawnmower to chastise him about mowing across the grass in the wrong direction for the growth of the grass, i put myself in between and took the hit." who wants to listen to the time i hid the kids when he came home on a tear because i'd spent $55 more at the grocery store than he thought i should have. i grew to hate online banking because he checked every damn day. he'd be mad before he learned i'd been asked to bring food to school.

i've already been telling you of my Dragon and of the time i was allowed with him. i've mentioned our walks. i've told you of the time the storm was coming in and cut me off on the rocks while i was too busy photographing said storm to notice. how many times can i tell you that he means the world to me? how many times can i say his eyes danced, he always held my hand, every time we walked anywhere - the grocery store, the library, driving the car? how many more times can i continue to write of our love without it being tiredly redundant for you, and i'll be sitting here knowing that?

i didn't say too much last night. i smiled. i responded at the appropriate length required to look invested in the conversation to questions put to me. but i felt out of place. it was a feeling akin to those first few steps after a stumble where you didn't actually fall down, just almost. and those first few steps are taken with the heartbeat still a bit rapid. the breathy "i almost fell down" adrenalin rush still coursing through you. that's how i felt all night out, until i got home.

my puppies were dancing, happy to see me. my little apartment looked cozy. my plants were full and gently moving from the little fan. my sewing, colorful and quiet was waiting. my photos of my life from before were looking at me from the walls and bookshelves. and my Dragon shrine was sitting on the mantle. solace. comfortable. sanctuary.

i read of everyone else going out and meeting up with friends. chillinwithlemonade had her scrapbook party and the photo looks like a bunch of women having such a nice time sharing and bonding.

i watched a film with Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Joan Allen called "Bonneville" and the deep, long friendship of these women was enviable to me. i wish i could find a friend like that. i'm trying. but one that is very close to my age is also very busy with her much younger children. only one is even in elementary school. another one in my age bracket is a maybe. she's busy also but her children are grown like mine. i'm crossing my fingers.

i don't want to be a hermit. if that is my fate, i'd like to live by the ocean. since that isn't going to happen, i'd like to find a friend. someone who knows the brief ups and consistent downs of losing a husband. no offense to widowers but i'd like my friend to be female as i am.

i don't want to lose my voice. i lost it metaphorically during my first marriage. i was getting it back with joy and, i have to admit, a little bit of bravado, with my Dragon and because of him because he liked the sound of my voice and what i had to say. but now, i think i'm losing it again. i loved talking on the phone to Suddenwidow. she thought i was fun. thanks. =o)

i can be fun. i'm just caught in this sadness right now with no desire to pull away. i love him madly. he is so cute and would say wildly inappropriate things to make me laugh, so i want to be friends with someone who is stuck here as well. we could pull up our little dinghies along side each other and drift together for a while sharing stories, crying, laughing, imbibing in too many Shirley Temples and snacking on port wine cheese and crackers. then when it's all our of our systems, we will be fast friends. we'll push away a bit, reset our oars and draw where our strength and the current takes us. but we'll have each other to call out to. we'll be able to row back towards each other should the seas prove too rough for one or the other.

maybe one day i'll have a photo of me with my friend to post here so that everyone can see. i'm not only the Dragon's devoted widow. i am also some one's friend.


judemiller1 said...

Isn't it strange that after a day of being alone your voice doesn't work properly? Has that happened to you? I could easily become a hermit--I like my little place and I don't mind being alone...when I want to that is. Sometimes it is such an effort just to get my shoes on and go meet people--but I guess my voice needs the exercise or I might forget how to talk?

Widow in the Middle said...

You always have so much to say at such a deep level. I'm trying to imagine your situation with going out. Because of the young ages of my sons when my husband died, I was pretty much forced to attend social events (school concerts, sports games). What I always hated were the dinners (like the fall football kick off) where I'd be one of the few singles. I'd dread having to sit down at a table to socialize and sometimes I'd avoid people I knew because I could hear them groan and say, "Oh no, it's WITM again and she always sits with us!" I have begun to look at any opportunity to have a dinner out as a gift (in this financial climate) and I've grown to deal with my discomfort when having to attend socials on my own. I usually end up meeting and talking to someone interesting and learning something new!

I am supremely lucky to have a close girlfriend, closer even than my sister. I do not know what I'd do without her. The fact that she is my age and her children the same ages as mine helps. It would be hard having a friend with much younger kids and we'd have less in common. I so wish for you to find a friend like the one I have. I will be praying at this end for one to cross your path as soon as possible!

About solitude - I have been so craving that lately! I haven't had an opportunity to experience it much. I think that quiet moments of self-reflection and introspection are necessary and great gifts. I am glad that you feel that your apartment is warm, welcoming and comforting. I imagine it giving you a hug as you enter the door. It is my personal opinion from my own experience that solitude is necessary for the grieving. We need the time-out to process, reminisce, deflate, as well as figure out who we now are and where we are going. Take care, I'm thinking of you.

Widow in the Middle said...


The gull is very cute!!!

womanNshadows said...

judemiller, if my daughter doesn't call to check in until the end of the day, my voice sounds rusty from lack of use. it's a bit startling to the both of us. an indication of how alone i am.

WITM, solitude sought for rejuvenation of the spirit is quite different than an extended solitary life forced on someone who had other plans. i agree with the introspection aspect for seeking it, but always in the back of your mind, you know you have a very close friend. i wish to be able to find someone who notices if i'm not there. a friend so my daughter doesn't have to continue to carry this burden.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

I just wish I lived closer to you, though who knows, I could be too gregarious, busy, crazy to really provide what you need.

BTW, I think the person who called you "creepy" must not know what it means, or have really intense personal issues. I don't even think of you as needy, which I know I was at this stage. You're a fascinating and generous person with talent and interesting experiences. Nothing less.

Remember that people drop out and act weird for their own reasons -- nothing to do with you.



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