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.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

is this living or merely existing?

i'm not sure if i'm actually living or merely existing now. i feel like i'm drifting in a ven diagram of three overlapping circles. one circle is fear ~ financial and health. another circle is loneliness and hesitation to call anyone to simply talk, to let someone know i'm out here. the third circle is one of shock and numbness from the toll life has taken so far. fifty-one and i'm alone, without money, and hope is slim. all these circles overlap each other in that slice that is grief. it is the largest by far and the heaviest to sit in. i try to move out of this diagram but there is no map. it's a labyrinth of twists and sudden walls. i can't see over it and i can't find a way under it. i'm walking and walking but i get clubbed in the knees almost every day.

i am short of money, again. i am rationing food, again. my ex has decided i need to learn a lesson so he won't make another payment of the money he owes me until the first of the month. i've done it before. i can do it again, but i'm so tired. i'm tired of living. it's so hard. without the strength of my Dragon, i feel myself sliding down to my knees all the time.

it's ironic how much i want and how little i think i deserve. i want a small home, a townhouse maybe with a small enclosed courtyard for my two little dogs to play in. i want a small car so i can drive myself to the store. i want my quilts to sell, my sock animals to sell, my photographs to sell. i want my novels to be accepted for publication. i want to provide for myself so i don't have to make 5 days of food stretch for 14 days, or until he decides he will lower himself to make a payment.

i'm scared all the time. it goes up into a state of panic every other day or so, but i wrestle it down. i draw on my memories of my Dragon's stories of what he went through as a Marine. i draw on his strength from what i know he endured and transform it into my own strength.

there's no other option but to keep going for as long as life lets me. it's been taking these big bear swipes at me for what seems like forever. i want something good to happen financially, just once. i wished it could have happened while my Dragon lived. he deserved so much more than he got. he deserved a long, quiet, peaceful retirement. if you are a person of faith, it can be argued that he got it. that he's in Heaven right now with no physical pain and a soul at peace from the horrors of this life. i just wish he could have gotten some peaceful time with me here in this life. it's such a beautiful world. mountains. ocean. clouds. sunsets. the smell of bar-be-que. the sight of your daughter trying on her wedding dress. the sound of your son on the phone laughing.

i miss him. he's so handsome. his smile is so contagious. he laughs with all that he is. i could go on but it wouldn't matter to anyone but me. let me just say that to stand next to him was a powerful feeling for me. i cherish him so much. i just wish he were still here with me. i sit in this little apartment and wish for all the world that he were here for me to talk to.

going through each day in fear, loneliness, hesitation to let anyone who knows me how bad it really is, all the shocked numbness that he's dead, and all this heavy, oppressive grief is not really a life. i get up and i breathe, sort of. i dedicate myself to work all day, long hours to try and get it all done so i can have some more money to try to get a foothold, only to have to be realistic and know i'll never catch a break. he was my break. being in his arms was my one break from the tragedy that is my life. he protected me. he carried me at times. he made me laugh. he loved me and there was nothing that felt greater. having his full attention on me made me feel whole. i felt alive.

i answered my own question. is this living or merely existing? he's gone. the one person who cared every minute of every day what i thought, what i felt; who sought me out and wanted my love, he died. so i'm not really alive. i'm existing right now, and for as long as this fear lasts, of dealing with the ex and his payback for the divorce by using his weapon of financial oppression, i can't grieve fully. i can't live. it's so hard and so lonely without him. my mantra isn't working anymore. i'll have to make up another one.

money. i need some. i'm supposed to get a thumb splint. i'll get food before i'll get that. new glasses. you have to shake your head and laugh sometimes, but it's a bitter laugh, hollow if it's audible. i'm out of Aleve. even cutting them in half i didn't make them last. damn. things i can only write about. could never say out loud.

i haven't been able to stay at the widow's meetings the last two times. if i speak, i don't think i'd be allowed to say it all. and if i got cut off, i'd be so embarrassed. i'd hang my head and weep. they'd think it was for him, but it would be for me.

no, i'm not living anymore. i died, i think, when he died. i saw my future without him and knew what it would be like. not pessimism. it was survival skills kicking in. i was being realistic. and it's played out exactly like i thought.

i miss him. i need him. there's so little left for me to work with. i'm tired and in physical pain. if i could just get some food and some Aleve in me. and that stupid splint. i tried it on. God, such relief.

well, pity party needs to end. i need to get back to work. it's only 10 PM. i can get in at least two more hours before i completely play out.

if you got this far, thanks for reading. i'll be okay. okay is better than not okay. i'm the Dragon's wife, after all. he never gave up. neither will i. i want him to smile at me.


judemiller1 said...

I am so very sorry.
Please hang has to get better. You deserve for it to get better.

Widow in the Middle said...

Absolutely no one in our country should have to be in the position of cutting tiny Aleve pills in half to conserve them! Likewise, not being able to obtain a finger splint that costs under $10.00 at Walgreen's. I am just feeling agonized for you right now and utterly helpless about what to do. There has to be some sort of community outreach center you can contact about a food bank and perhaps they could provide a recommendation about the over the counter medication you need. I would also look into legal aid for advice on your ex-husband's late support payments.

I know you are suffering financially, emotionally and now physically. Please, please hang in there - maybe we can all rally and get some more ideas or support generated. I'll keep thinking on this end. Just know I care and hate to see you in this position. I will check back with you soon.

Suddenwidow said...

My heart is breaking for you and I am horrified that you can't get your finger splint, pain reliever and food! I agree with Widow in the Middle. There must be a community outreach center or something similar and a food bank in your city that you could use at times like these when you're feeling so desperate. There must be some type of social assistance available. You shouldn't be having to worry about survival as you battle grief. Would it help if I paid the other half of my quilt payment now? Please make some phone calls tomorrow to see what and who are out there to help you and let me know what I can do to help.

Thinking and worrying about you,


Supa Dupa Fresh said...

E-mail me your street address and I'll send you something. Not much, but something to help. Lord knows I'd take you out for a shopping spree at CVS -- and a hug -- if I were closer.

Hang in there. Loads of us are rooting for you. Grief is black, but the sun will shine again. I wouldn't say it if I hadn't been there, too. And you, you are very loved!



Anonymous said...

I am heartbroken for you. No one should have to ration food and medicine. What can I do to help you through this? You are not alone, although it feels like it right now. I have not walked in your shoes, but I am willing to help you any way I can. Please email me.

Widow in the Middle said...

I have been thinking of you all day and hoping you are making it through as best you can. I pray that you received some sort of relief/hope in any way today, even if just a glimmer but wish it will be much more for you.

Boo said...

My precious and much loved friend. It's not appropriate for me to vent and share my opinions here so emotional my reaction to reading your post is , that I ask for understanding when it is I who should be attuned to your needs and comfort. I have some mostly unformed and fairly random first thoughts and suggestions asking for your permission to involve a corporate lawyer friend for his advice (FOC to you entirely in the exploring the various avenues you can take ... I will not let him dictate whether you eat or live pain free according to his whim or mood, and mean spirit and ugly heart) as well as other people in my personal and business extended networks (and favours that I am more than comfortable to call in) - in fact they will be happy to help you. My fear is that your ex has left you with some demons that the dragon had almost succeeded in exorcising, using a great degree of love, patience and his own understanding of how depraved some humans can be treat others - they seek the control and power that is false in reality but very real to you when you are this vulnerable. It is hard to fight any thing, feared, imagined, or otherwise very real - our demons are even harder to attempt to defeat on an empty stomach or in any type of physical pain. However, if someone had tortured or bullied our husbands when they were living with that degree of stress or worry, or if they were ill or in pain (injured in anyway, such as like your hand is) the result would have been a very nasty and dangerous result for the perpetrator, because it would have only served to make them more determined to get rid of the threat and the more serious the threat becomes, or the less stress we can accommodate (currently that level is at zero at a guess) .... the more deadly serious and focussed we are on our evasive actions and behaviour. What I will say here is this. Does this SOB honestly think that because the Dragon is not here to protect you that you are no longer protected? You ARE protected. Indirectly by us, who walk this journey with you in our hearts. No one should have to contend with this extra worry and stress levels that you are being given through soemone's mood or nasty whim pleases him with no notice so that you can even prepare.

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