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.

Friday, February 5, 2010

"wild heart"

i found a letter he wrote once while he was gone on one of his missions. it was in an envelope addressed to me, just in case it needed to be mailed by someone else. just in case. but he came home and we sat together and he got to read it to me. i changed it enough to fit the present.

She’s buried herself in her sewing today. She won’t write anything again until Monday, the start of the end of me. I thought I’d tell you something you didn’t know about her and probably never would. You’d never know it by looking at her, or even by being her casual friend, but my wife has a wild heart. I am the only one who knows this. It didn’t take me long to figure it out but I was looking at her pretty hard. It’s just under the surface but you have to know where to look. She keeps it hidden in the shadows.

She’s shy and takes reticence to a whole other level. It’s because she has been taught not to believe in herself. I remember our first date. I was fascinated from the start. I kept telling myself not to screw this up. When we parted I couldn’t tell if she liked me or not and I didn’t know what to do so I shook her hand and leaned in for a kiss both at the same time. I was so scared she wouldn’t want to see me again. And then I talked her into being my wife. She always thought she was the lucky one.

I wanted to set her spirit free, but I died and she’s alone again. I know she’s going to San Diego in August so I wanted someone to know this about her. I want someone else in the world to know that my wife has this wild heart that is filled with longing for me and for the life we had, and for the life I promised her. She’s lost right now missing me and wanting me back. And I would like it if someone knew to watch her watch the ocean while she’s there, because she’ll go out there and look at it if it’s close. She’ll smile and laugh inside with you, but she’s shy and I know she won’t let people see her. Not really. Not in so short a time. you'll turn around and she'll be gone. She'll have gone outside.

I watch her and know her thoughts. I can feel her going back into the shadows a little bit, except in her writing, in her sewing, her drawings, and her photographs. Her art is the only way anyone will get to know her. She’s got a vivid imagination and deep inside her that wild heart beats. But no one knows it's there.

She’s unobtrusive in public, and accommodating. I’ve been places with her and seen a whole room of people not realize she’s there, or if they did, never pay attention to her. She’s quiet. She studies people. But once she steps outdoors you can see the wildness in her.

I would lead her in hikes and turn around to find her far behind me. She’d stopped to watch something or look at something almost unnoticeable. She’d find fungus growing inside a hollowed out tree and show me all its colors. She’d watch bugs and birds and snakes. She didn’t like frogs though. She didn’t want one to jump on her. She was funny and different, and she looked at me like I was this big hero, and I loved it.

She was fearless and I always had to really watch her. She’d focus on something and drift off into a world of her own and get into trouble. But her world was a place I wanted to be in with her. She’d show me what she saw, tell me what she thought and it was always something I never saw before or thought before.

She drove me crazy. Once she realized it was okay to be herself she was like this wild horse freed from a pen. She wanted to walk everywhere, climb places she didn’t have the training for, and be out in weather she wasn’t able to deal with. She get out on the rocks and the tides would cut her off or she’d turn around realizing how high up she was or how far out, and she’d be unable to get back. And if she got too cold she wouldn’t be able to recover without help, my help. I had to watch her like a hawk.

She’d have me hike in with her to a place called Dogtown. It’s an abandoned settlement inland in the center of Cape Ann. There are no houses there anymore, only the dugout basements. It’s a dangerous place to go if you don’t know where to look and it’s reputed to be haunted and she was fearless. She’d climb down into the basements and I’d try to hold her hand, watch where she stepped, gauge the sunlight, the temperature, all the sh*t that could go wrong exploring abandoned places like that. Then I’d help her climb out. We’d be filthy and she’d smile and say, “Wasn’t that fun?” And it was. Then I’d see her pictures later on the computer, and see it as she did, and I’d want to go back.

She wants to go back home. I’d take her, but I died and now she’s alone and scared. She misses me more than she’s scared. She thinks she can’t do it. I see her looking at her pictures of our island and her eyes fill with unshed tears. She’s got a set of pictures that breaks my heart with their beauty. She wanted to live out there so badly. She wanted to be alone with me out there. She understood the wildness in me and is my soulmate. She called us kindred spirits, and we were, we are. She wanted to be alone out there away from everyone who didn’t understand the wildness and beauty of the wind, the waves, and nature. I wish I could have made it happen so I do all that I have left to me. I go get and take her to our island.

I wait until it’s very late and she’s finally out for the night. I go into her heart and her dreams and I take her to our island. For a while, a very short while, we are together again. We have a wonderful life out there under the heavens, day and night, summer and winter, clear or stormy. I’m with her and she is free to be herself. She can explore the island and take her pictures and be safe. No one can hurt her. She has all she wants. She has her island, her sky, her rocks, shells, the crashing waves, and she has me. Beach Bunny and her Dragon can be together forever on our island, even if, for now, it's only in her dreams.

Just do me one favor, will you? Keep reminding her, when she's down and feeling lost, remind her that I'm waiting for her. I'll take back over then and I'll never let her be alone again.


Suddenwidow said...

So touching and beautiful. What a precious gift from your Dragon. Thank you for sharing it with us.

He is waiting and watching over you. Sometimes that isn't enough to quiet my grief, but it is better than having never known that kind of love at all. So it must be enough, for now. May that fact get you through the next tough days.

Bill in NH said...

First, Thank you so much for introducing yourself in your comment in my blog, and for your wonderfully kind sentiments--I truly appreciate the time taken, and the difficulty you're having, especially right now, as "father time" is making his rounds of an unpleasant anniversary for you.

It is very clear to me that you and your Dragon shared (and still share) an uncommonly powerful level of intimacy, the depth of which can be fully known only by the two of you. It's also clear that love so strong cannot ever go away, as is proven by the power of your grief.
An author of one of the many books I read, wrote that the power of grief is equal in every respect, to the power of the love you have for the person you've lost.
The examples you share, like his letter today, are probably just "skimming the surface" of the depth and magnitude of how the two of you shared life together, and its truly an honor for us that you to share it with us, and I'm also honored for you to acknowledge Chuck and I in the process.

Your entry today was very helpful to me, as I too have been finding "notes" which Chuck lovingly left here and there, which I'm not ready to share here yet, in fact they sort of "scare" me a little, because I know what happens each time I find one--I'm both excited and happy, but also stricken all over again with the throbbing ache of his absence.

At the same time, they are like "gold" and I feel like a prospector, but if I "dig" too fast, and too eagerly, the "mine" could come toppling down. Okay, that's enough with my far-reaching metaphors.

Thanks again so much! With Love,
Bill in NH

Dan, in real time. said...

Thank you for trusting us with this loving message from your Dragon. I for one, would be honored to help keep a watchful eye, both in the next few days, and in August.

Know that we understand that this is all so difficult, and we are all here so you won't feel too alone.

Love. Dan

Boo said...

your fairy god-mothers will be with you by the ocean in CA ... and we are priveleged enough to see that wild heart beating. I love you xx

J-in-Wales said...

Thinking about you and holding your hand across the ocean as you start this longest week.
J xxx

Karen said...

The unearthly and boundless depth of your love is making me cry with its beauty... and I can't stop reading.

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