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.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wine, Boo, and Song

i wasn't going to get online today. it's the eleventh month. like it's only the eleventh month but it's the eleventh month already. eleven months without touching him, or being touched by him. it's not a year yet but eleven reminds me of twelve and that's a year.

i just watched Boo go through it from afar physically, though not emotionally. i won't be afar from myself and i don't know how brave i'll be emotionally. not going to think about that tonight.

i got an email from Jude. lovely, lovely. she remembered me today.

Suddenwidow has book our flights for Camp Widow. i'm really going. i don't know how to thank my two fairy godmothers for this. so if they look close at the photo, they will see an embroidery frame and beads being sewn on in some kind of pattern, i don't know. it's such a mystery that they will have to wait until August to find out.

but she emailed my flight info and she has a candle lit for my Dragon and me.

my daughter stopped by with a bucket of fried chicken and a bottle of white zinfandel. (i'm a lightweight.) so i poured a glass for myself and for her and we toasted our Dragon. she left and i put on that song, "Whistling Away the Dark." i lit a candle and then the phone rang.

it was Boo. she knows what day it is, too. we talked. we spoke of our men. we laughed about her dogs. we both know it's a hard day for me. she has a candle lit. three candles. "better to light a candle than curse the darkness" never meant more to me than these days. Boo and i both know i have some very dark corners in my life that my Dragon was healing, but didn't have the time to get to every corner. it's up to me to finish what he started. i need to do this for myself, but it will be him that is my carrot.

get it? i was his Beach Bunny? carrot as incentive? yes, i've had a glass of wine.

i miss him. i miss his beard. his laugh. i miss him taking the dogs out when it's so freakin' cold. he'd take them out and then he'd come back, take his shirt off, and put his cold skin right up against me. i loved it, warming him. i loved the way he smelled. he smelled like pine and salt and the cold.

so i wasn't going to get online but i took a photo of my glass, at my chair where i work at night by the lamp. the glass has hearts on it and l'amour in script around it. my son and daughter gave us the set of two with a basket of cheese and crackers and wine for my Dragon's and my first Valentine's together. they were so happy he had found us.

thank you, Jude for the email. thanks to my daughter for the food and the wine.

and thank you, Boo for the phone call, the checking up on me. you heard the catch in my voice and we shouldered on. we laughed and no matter how much quilting i got done today, i'm more proud of that bit of laughter. it's more than i would have managed on my own.

tonight the music is playing and i'm working by the light, by his photo, with my glass of wine in one of our glasses. i'm drinking from it now, on the eleventh month.

it will be too hard to do it on the twelfth month.


Dan, in real time. said...

It sounds like the this next month will be like one long, and dark, journey for you. The anticipation of the 12th month anniversary has to be difficult, and one that I don't look forward to myself. Your words made me think of the phrase the eleventh hour. I would like to do something symbolic to support you during this time.

Every night I light a votive candle for Michael. It gives me great comfort. What I want to do for you is light a candle each night at the 11th hour. It will be my vigil to you and your Dragon. Know that you are being thought of each night.


Boo said...

Yes, I heard your voice wobble, and we soldiered on ... I too am more proud of our laughter today than anything :-)

I love you, and I love what Dan has written, I am just having a little panic because there has been an earthquake in CA 6.5 on the Richter Scale, so hopping over to his blog now to see if he's written anything recently, to see if he's ok. Oh god what next.

I cannot see WHAT you are making, but my curiousity has spiked!


Widow in the Middle said...

What a nice gesture for your daughter to stop by with the wine and food. And for the kindness of your friends. I am glad you had a glass of wine because you truly deserve the pleasure a glass can bring. In the days ahead, love and support like this will continue.

womanNshadows said...

Dan, the next month will be long. my birthday is in one week and i will miss him. thank you for the candle you will light. the eleventh hour has such a literal meaning for my Dragon. he was the one they always called on at the eleventh hour. that was always his job. late in the game when it was all FUBAR. he always got in and got out. except this one last time during the eleventh hour on the 9th of February. thank you for the candle.

Boo, thank you again for the gift of your phone call.

WITM, my daughter is a jewel beyond measure. while we toasted our Dragon i also told her that i was toasting her, and that i did not take any sacrifice she made for me for granted. she told me that the one thing she will always remember about me was that i was always there for her, no matter the hour, no matter the cost. i stood between her and her father. and yes, i will need her, and my friends here because this is a month i am keeping my eye on. being so alone with my thoughts, it will be harder. i'm hoping to steer the pain into creativity, to at least force it to count for something good rather than it being allowed to just be anguish.

judemiller1 said...

Isn't it surprising how quickly 11 months have passed, when you look back and long 11 months can take when lived in grief and with each step a torture. Thought about you all day today and checked here several times and now as it is the 11th hour and time for bed...I see your post. We will be with you this next month and all the months to come. Love you....

Boo said...

"Legend has it that the daisy originated from a nymph who transformed herself into a charming but unassuming wildflower to escape unwanted attention. Epitomizing childlike joy and playfulness, this April birth flower captures the essence of spring`s happy-go-lucky, forever-young attitude."

womanNshadows said...

Jude, sometimes these 11 months were like flash paper. then there were the long afternoons alone, and the longer nights alone and wide awake. thank you for being there.

Boo, thank you for the daisy legend. i am at present thinking about how to put 365 daisies on the border of my own Memory Quilt. do i embroider them? do i find a ribbon? i have no idea yet. it's a work in progress. "forever young." i like the sound of that. i want him to be young in heaven, for him to feel no pain and be happy and at peace forever. (and i want him to be waiting for me.) =*0}

Boo said...

He WILL be waiting for you. My mom told me that when people die, if they are young, they age to be in their 30's ... if they are older, they regain the youth of their 30's. She really believed this ... and actually so do I these days.

Suddenwidow said...

I hope things are better today for you. As my boys and I spent the day cleaning and marking!), I was constantly thinking about how decluttering (when I should have been we will spend March 20th. I want to honour him yet not make it extremely painful for those of us left behind. You and Boo being ahead of me has me thinking about the dreaded one year mark more than ever. I can't believe how fast it's coming and how it feels like it's been years since he was was here. The beading project has me perplexed. I love good surprises!

30 years old, Boo, really? That made me giggle because Austin was 41 when I met him and when I get to heaven and he looks 30ish, he'll have darker, curlier hair and possibly a bushy beard. Yikes! He was a Harley rider and he fit the part. Looking at photographs I used to joke that if I'd seen him on the street I would have run in the other direction! Hopefully it will be the late 30's and not the early 30's!!

I'm going to light some candles for us all tonight and try to wind myself down to sleep after a very busy, long day (I hate cleaning but I love the feeling that comes from getting rid of clutter and junk.)

Sending my love and hugs.

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