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, October 26, 2009

and then there was one


this island is off our cove. it has a name but my Dragon and i named it Isla (insert the Spanish of my name here). we always wanted to try to buy it from the Audobon Society since they never took care of it. the Coast Guard never maintained the lighthouse anymore either. there are unremarkably electronic bouys floating in the water for that now. since my Dragon has died, the island is being given away to anyone who will rebuild, maintain, and commit to live there for at least five years, but they'd love eight. they want daily readings on weather and bird activity. a simple observation of some science data typed into a computer every day. damn it all to Hell. we would have done that in a heartbeat. i am crush and somewhere my Dragon is roaring in frustration.

"man was born to live, to suffer, and to die and what befalls him is a tragic lot, but we must, dear Fox, deny it all along the way." ~ Thomas Wolfe

it sounds like good advice but what it is, is avoidance. i can no more deny that my Dragon has died than i can deny the pain that i am living with because of it. i am alone. i have to deal with the fact that he is gone every minute of every day. and every night.

i was born alone. i did the best to get by as quietly as i could. i was never a noisy person. it was a particular skill of mine to be able to go undetected through a gathering, a room, my life. in certain social situations, i can raise reticence to an art form. but i have always been able to write. i just never say it out loud. writing is a solitary journey of which i am very much at home.

in time, though, i became the mother of two children. the Three Musketeers. i was Athos, the one who carried the hidden sorrow, the melancholy one who took care of the younger two. but then a fourth came to join us, a Dragon; a seasoned veteran to lead us, to guide us, whose boot was the last one left standing in the dirt after we three had entered the safety of the house. it was the Dragon who always closed and locked the door.

the two younger Musketeers grew up and left on quests of their own, to start their own lives. it was me and my Dragon left in our home by the ocean. we were wrapped up in each other. we are each other's best friend, confidant, lover.

the February moon was full. it was four below outside but the Dragon and i were warm in our room. we had finished our pre-bed rituals and the lights were out. there was our kiss, slow, heartfelt. i had a slight headache and the Dragon was tired. i settled my head on his shoulder. my fingers were laced in his hand.

"i love you. good night."
"i love you, too."

i had no idea those would be our final words. seven minutes was all it took to bring my Dragon down.

and then there was one.

how empty my life is now that the Dragon has passed. while living, oh, Lord, you have to believe me, he was larger than life. his stories of his exploits as a warrior were the stuff of legends. he'd shake his head and blush at my awe at his abilities, but his life story is truly incredible. and he always came home to me. now that he isn't here to temper my hero-worship, he has become mythic.

i am separated from him by something i cannot understand. i am depressed. i sew. i try to sleep. it's always fitful and i wake up exhausted. and then i sew. if i didn't have the sewing, i think i would sleep for 22 hours a day.

i think of him. all the time. but i cannot "deny it all along the way." he has died and i have to deal with it, even though i am beside myself, even though i am devastated.

but maybe tonight i will fall asleep a little sooner than i usually do. maybe my Dragon of a man will come visit me. if i dream i can forget. for a little while i am not alone.

forgetting for a while isn't the same thing as denying the truth of what's happened.

{no one has accepted the terms of living on the island. it's too austere. it's too lonely. for me and the Dragon, it's perfect. for me alone, it's too dangerous. with good sense, the terms demand it be two people, no children under the age of 17.}

3 comments:

Boo said...

I can imagine the two of you living there together. You were so like us - having no need for anyone else. You could maroon couples such as us on desert islands, isolated from the world and we'd be happy ... looking at the picture made me feel so so sad for your lost dreams and heartache. Sending you love xx

judemiller1 said...

What a wonderful place. I showed this to my Dream Husband and he said, "Oh...that looks like a place we could happily live out the rest of our lives." Ah yes---we too enjoy being just the two of us--that's all we need.

womanNshadows said...

Boo, i can see you and Cliff doing the same thing. maybe there's a Widows' Island where we can all go and live; where our dreams come true and we can move through that veil of half sleep and not be widows anymore.

judemiller, it is such a beautiful island. i did a year-long photographic study from the coastline. no one is allowed on the island. i'm guessing the Audobon has SWAT teams in place somewhere to shoot you or something. but the fine is hefty if you're caught on the island and since it's nothing but granite and scrub, you will be seen. =o) but it's a lovely place with a hauntingly, lonely story.

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