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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

my pendant and new ring ~ my response to the widow who emailed


this has been building in me for a couple of weeks, something that i feel i have to address. i read only a few blogs, faithfully, and leave comments when i feel i might be able to say something worthwhile, usually in the way of validation. i feel we write here in hopes of connecting with someone. i don't think we need life coaching. no one can and should direct our lives. we gain insights to others who feel, or have felt similar, to see that benchmark for where we are.

i have been told to never say never. i have been instructed that i should be getting better. all this is sound advice that comes from people who know what works for them and is very well meant. i understand that at the beginning of grief, people say never say never because life happens and may gift them with a new love. lovely. such a wonderful second chance.

but my Dragon was my second chance.

i have been told that i am flat out wrong to grieve at all. not going to say who from, it came through as a private email. it was harsh, direct, and very self-serving of a life plan that works for this particular woman. she loved her husband. he got sick. he died. people need to move on quickly or they are only wallowing for their own benefit.

i felt a little sorry for her, that she felt such contempt for me. the catalyst for her vehemence was due to my "Dragon and the womanNshadows" missive of a couple of weeks back. she felt i had, in her words, "over calculated your affection for him. no one should mean that much." oddly her words didn't wound. i know what i had in him. still have.

i deleted the email without responding. all she knows of me is that i am womanNshadows. all she knows is that her words passed by me without comment. but then i thought i would and add the photo above.

i read the handful of people's writings here and i feel the hurt, frustration, and sadness that can overwhelm. i feel it deeply myself.

i spoke on the phone to Suddenwidow and told her a secret. besides the urn for my Dragon and myself, i purchased something else from that company, something i didn't know was available but wanted immediately when i saw it. as is obvious, my Dragon was cremated. i have his ashes waiting for mine to join his to be given to the sea. i also bought the tiny cobalt blue glass pendant and put barely a teaspoon of his ashes inside. i sealed the top and it is ready for me to wear when i go out if i so choose. i chose the one i did because he meant the moon and stars to me. i'm wearing it under my dress to my daughter's wedding. she knows. she approves. she wants it when i pass. he was her Dragon, too.

without going into detail, she needed him before i married him, called him, and he came. my Dragon became her Dragon by protecting her until i could get there. her father had stopped by and was angry. she was scared and needed help. she loves him and calls him "Dad."

i also bought myself an anniversary ring from a company called "wedding vow rings." i had his vows to me, the Shakespeare quote, engraved on it. instead of moving my wedding rings to my right hand, i am keeping them where he put them. and i've added the silver ring i bought for myself to wear on my right hand.

to the never say nevers? sorry. i'm not there. to the tough love people who think i'm wallowing because of the pendant? i'm working on the Memory Quilts for others, taking in their stories and using those as inspiration for the quilts i make them so that they are unique. i feel, i think maybe, i tell myself i am giving them back something tangible, soft comfort, and memories for the children who love their dads, moms, sisters, and brothers.

i'm living. i'm getting up each morning. i'm working. i simply still love my Dragon. if i say never, i know i will get mail and/or comments. i will be told i'm making a generalized statement far too soon. but i have to throw on the table this one thought. you don't know me, what my life was like before the Dragon, and what our lives were like together. you don't know what we have. there are people who don't ever remarry and are considered living their lives. if i am one of those, i am no less a functioning human being than those who are gifted with another love.

let me be. offer solace. tell me you understand the sadness that has come to my life. but please do not tell me everything you know i am doing wrong according to how you live your own life. i do not tell those who cry to suck it up. i do not expect others to grieve as i do. it is my life. no one else has to live it. but i do.

everyone's lives has so many variables that come into play. don't criticize when all you know are the words chosen to become public. in loving my Dragon and writing about him, it was never my intent to rile anyone. i do not reach out to others for advice, only commraderie, the knowledge that they know what i'm describing.

i hope all who grieve find peace. i hope all who find another love, have long lives together. i hope all who their lives with the love and memories of the one who died, find joy in those memories and the tears become fewer and further apart. i simply wish us all peace.

8 comments:

Suddenwidow said...

Amen. I find it extremely upsetting that people are slamming you for feeling grief the way you are feeling it. If they don't like it, don't read. After meeting you online and then having the pleasure of talking to you on the phone, I know that you are an amazing, funny, creative and very kind woman. The love you have for your Dragon is very similar to the love I feel for my beloved husband. Everyone should have the life enriching experience to love that deeply and completely. I feel sorry for those who haven't had that kind of love in their life.

Keep writing. I am here to keep reading and to very often see myself in your writing. And I ordered a pendant too. I look forward to wearing it. Wishing us all peace.

Debbie

P.S. I love your ring! And I really enjoyed Bonneville :)

twinmom said...

I am astounded that anyone would criticize! This path you are walking is yours alone. I love your necklace, and the thought that part of him will be with you at the wedding. I also hope you keep writing. I will also keep reading, and extending my "hand" to help hold you up.

Widow in the Middle said...

There will always be those who disagree and criticize. I've taken flak for wanting to remarry. My own therapist asked me why I would want to ever again after losing a husband to death and another to divorce. A girlfriend told me I'll never find a man to marry because I'm too old. I could go on with even more comments. But you once told me that we have to follow what our own hearts dictate and for me that is to find love and be married again. It doesn't mean that is what is right for others.

Surprisingly, the whole thing with my therapist strengthened my belief in what is right for me and gave me a better understanding of who I am and how I tick. Hopefully, getting divergent opinions from others will do the same for you and not cause you too much upset.

Your ring and pendant are wonderful. I too have a pendant with my Mom's ashes.

I am coming to realize that people say some pretty ignorant things but oftentimes what they say is meant in comfort and because they do not want you to feel such tremendous pain. I think they are honestly trying to help alleviate some of it. They know you are deeply hurting.

judemiller1 said...

I so love the pendant and the meaning it conveys...I would want one to wear to a daughter's wedding too--just to wear...everyday! You are doing just fine--your path is just that...YOUR path. We all go down our path in our own way and it is not for anyone else to judge.

womanNshadows said...

Suddenwidow, i'm glad you enjoyed the film, "Bonneville." and you'll have to post a photo of the pendant you chose. i'd love to see it.

twinmom, thank you.

Widow in the Middle, your therapist questioning your wants and desires for finding love again is a little unnerving. unless you're thinking of opening a meth lab and conscripting your kids to help for the sake of chemistry, it seems she should simply allow you to talk things out, use her as a sounding board. Socratic method of self-evaluation. anyway, thank you for your support.

judemiller1, thank you for stopping in. you're right. no one should judge. sooner or later i'll end up where i'm supposed to go. i just want to do it in my own way, in a way that keeps him close to me as i regain my strength as i face doing it alone again.

itsmylife2 said...

I don't have much to add because you have said it all so beautifully. It is no one's right to tell you what to do or how to do it. It is your life, your grief. I wish you peace, too.

Speaking as one who has not lost a love, I can still say that your writings touch me deeply. Thank you for not letting the angry know-it-alls deter you. Thank you for sharing this little bit of your life. Thank you.

Jules

Ann said...

I apologize profusely if anything I have ever said added to your grief and pain. I understand where you are because I’ve been there. And when I told you to have hope, it is coming from three years down the road from where you are right now. I was devastated for years at the loss of my husband. He too was my second chance. I never expected or even wanted a third. My only thought was to tell you that sometimes things actually do get better and hope returns. I am so sorry if my comment hurt you. That was never my intention.

womanNshadows said...

Jules, thank you for your comments. though you've said you haven't experienced this kind of grief, your empathy is a blessing. i am glad you feel comfortable emailing me.

Ann, this missive was actually in response to an email i received through here, not from any one comment left. i re-read your comment and it in no way caused me any pain. the email from the other woman was, however, very critical of my laments posted here, especially my "Dragon and the womanNshadows" i posted for my first wedding anniversary without him. her admonishment for my "flowery writing" and "obsessive love that is unhealthy" was what stung. for some reason she detests the word Dragon and did not think it an appropriate term of endearment. she believes that no one should love anyone like i describe here. she was vehement that, at 6 months, i was "dragging it out." her letter went on and was eviscerating. my writing this posting was solely to clarify my beliefs on this topic.

Ann, i am very happy for you. love is precious and a gift that should be rejoiced in. i hope you and your new love have a great many wonderful and peaceful years together. my sincerest and most heartfelt congratulations.

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