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, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day ~ Dragon's Funeral One Year Ago

i got the quilt in the frame tonight. i'm working hard i think to bury what day tomorrow is. Valentine's Day.
it had always been a day we spent together honoring our love and our marriage. we did it right. cheap and intimate at home. being me, i made him books. i wrote stories with illustrations inside. i spent a lot of time on them. i loved doing it for him and he always loved getting them.

he told me that he'd never had anyone love him as i do. and i do. i love him. that his funeral was planned on Feb. 14th, what that day meant, never occurred to me. maybe it was fate. for my last Valentine book that i made for him, i'd researched the origin of the day, of the Saint. i read Dan's blog earlier tonight and he mentioned St. Valentine. for my first Valentine's Day alone, i mean the one that isn't his funeral since i was never technically alone, i think i want to relate what i gave to my Dragon two years ago, our last Valentine's Day together.
"Valentine's Day has it's origins in blood, violence, persecution, and sacrifice, all the things that make love so infinite and worthwhile. Valentine's Day has evolved into something that is a mere shadow of the power it once held. except for us. you and me."

i use several pages to explain all about why i love him, admire him, and am in awe of him. i give him the words to make him smile, blush, and shake his head at my adoration. he is so funny when he thinks my writing enters hyperbole.

at the end of this book i wrote and made for him, i tell him why Valentine's Day is so special.

"you, my love, are a warrior and you above all should not be in the dark about Valentine's Day. the priest Valentius secretly married soldiers because he felt Claudius's edict that no soldier should marry was wrong. if anyone should have a blessed eternal, sacred love, it should be a soldier. thrown in prison and awaiting execution, he had hope enough to fall in love with his jailer's daughter and he sent her love letters signed 'from your Valentine.' he was executed on February 14, 270 AD.

Valentius died for love while loving someone. he was a warrior as well, albeit on a different battlefield. we celebrate this day as we do every day. for you and me, for all of us, a priest risked his life for the warriors of his parish and they risked all seeking him out for the sacrament of marriage, for love. love is never a waste. you and i share a love that is a sacrament, that is a bond for all eternity.

never wonder how or why i love you. never wonder why i am here for you. no one deserves love more than you and no one can possibly love you more than me. no one will quietly hold you in the night, stroke your hair, your arm, or speak in low, soothing tones to you like i do and always will. i'll face down your demons and banish them all from your mind.

i am the person your soul talks to in the night. i will always be there....
because i love you."
my Dragon is my life and i was his. we had talked once about what to do if one of us died. we had also talked about how we thought it would feel, how we’d “be” when the other had died. he and i both spoke of it as if we were the same coin and one side had been obliterated. damaged. we spoke of it as if we were Gibran’s “lute quivering with the same music.” yes, we were two individuals but our lives, our dreams had evolved to become one instrument, Gibran's lute. i know if a string breaks on an instrument, the musician simply replaces the string but in a marriage such as ours, the string cannot be replaced. they don't make them to fit the instrument that is us, the Dragon and his woman from the Dragon is a Marine, Force Recon. he fought hard for his country and his will to survive was very strong. there were a myriad of reasons he earned his nickname. his inner strength to live and get his men back home was one of them. "Dragon" was an honorable name to be given. his stories are wild and simply incredible to me. he told me once, though, that nothing he did or endured during his years was as bad as the mere thought of having to live without me.

"if you died, i would continue. that's all. i would just continue like a wolf that had lost it's mate. i would lose the sun and the moon and the ocean. i would lose my joy of watching you live. i would just continue and wait to be able to join you."

i feel the same. i have no idea if this Valentine's Day culmination of my first year without him has me so deep in melancholia that i am wallowing, but i will ride this ride to the end. i will feel fully what my heart and my mind give me to experience. i will fully live this grief until it evolves. then i will experience that.

as Jimmy Bufftet sings, "some of it's magic and some of it's tragic but i've had a good life all the way."

i had a good life starting when i met my Dragon. i had a wonderful life with him. and i will have a life as his widow albeit a sadder, lonelier one. i will hold my memories of him and keep his stories safe in my heart. maybe next year i will be able to hold a special celebration for him.

my warrior. my Dragon. my beloved husband. "my immortal beloved." you are worth all this pain. i love you. i always will.


Dan, in real time. said...

Well written, and a beautiful sentiment. I enjoyed getting to know how your Dragon got his name. He was a lucky man to be so loved. Not everyone in this world get to experience the kind of love you gave to him. I know that you feel that you were the lucky one, and maybe you were, but from what I have read the way you describe your love for him, I can't help but think he was a very fortunate man.

I hope that tomorrow can be a time of love's reflection. I know there will be some pain involved in this, as I have already started shedding tears myself, but I hope the joy of your love will be the most influential.

Love to you.


judemiller1 said...

All the time I was by the ocean side, I thought of you and Dragon and today, I am keeping you in my thoughts once again. Some may think that tomorrow, it will all start to get better--the end of the first year--that of course is not true. I picture you there in your little home and I hope you are okay.

thelmaz said...

What a difficult day this must be for you. My thoughts are with you.

Widow in the Middle said...

Thank you for sharing the beautiful gift book you created for your Dragon as a Valentine gift. I love the image of you being the two sides of a coin. Perhaps possible to disfigure or damage but impossible to ever separate.

Your powerful love story goes far beyond the superficial way we all have grown to look at Valentine's Day. "Love is never a waste." Learning more about you and the life shared with your Dragon always makes me feel hopeful and restored because it is meaningful, stable and everlasting. A true love story when what we are bombarded with are tales of quick and fleeting Hollywood romances.

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