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.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

one year, one month ~ grading on a curve

today is one of those almost perfect days. the weather is warm. my slider is open to a screen to let in air but not the birds that for some reason love to pull a Hitchcock on my balcony railing. they stare at me. don't laugh. i am serious. ever since i got one of those big birdseed bells last year, and a mutant crow came and gripped it in it talons, and ripped it off the hanger, they all seem to think i am going to put one out again. no way. i have small dogs, two scotties, and i don't want some big bird thinking they are charred birdseed.

so the slider is open but the screen is firmly shut. i'm embroidering on the last quilt for Suddenwidow and crossing my toes for more commissions. bury me people. i wouldn't mind a list a year and a half long. i just ate a quick bite and checked my email for some commissions that are being considered by people and my igoogle comes up. i love my flying, spinning pig that floats across the top and my applications like, well, yeah, the phases of the moon. i also have a calendar.

there is no avoiding looking at it. today. one year, one month.

am i better? how do you define better? would you consider grading on a curve? well, i don't sob and curl into a ball every single day. i do cry every night as i talk to God, and to him. i smile but my daughter says my eyes don't. i am thinking about the future and it freaks me out. i need health care because as bad as i feel right now, i know i'll feel worse someday. i can't live in this apartment for the rest of my life. i eventually need a car to get myself around. so the future scares the hell out of me.

i have, however, learned how to be more alone than i've ever been in my life. no one touches me but my daughter. once a week hugs. i only hear her and my son's voices now. i have the gift of online friends who are amazing. i have gotten flowers, my widow's ring, and the wherewithal to go to Camp Widow. never would i have gotten to go. never would i buy myself flowers. embroider them for myself, yes. but the smell isn't the same. and my rings, i find myself playing with my rings, making sure the little gold heart on the copper band of my wedding ring is perfectly centered. my widow's ring is closest to my heart.

as rings go i think i'm all backwards but that's me. eccentric thoughts lead to an eccentric life. my wedding ring has the heart on the band. when my Dragon gave it to me, the heart faced outwards to him. while i sat with him after he died, i took it off and turned it around and told him that my heart was closed to anyone and everything. i spoke those words while i was sitting there wanting to exchange places, or to go with him. but one year and one month later, God help me, it still holds true.

my daughter and i went out to supper one night about three weeks ago. we went to a Olive Garden. a man sent over a glass of wine for me. i told the waiter to thank the man but i declined. i told him i was very happily married and only out with my daughter. my daughter backed up the lie. or is it? i still feel married to him. i know he's gone. i know i am a widow. but i still feel so very married to him, so deeply connected, as strong a connection as the day we married, as the night he died.

or maybe i got the wine wrong. i am alone all the time so maybe my social skills are suffering. after we got in my daughter's car later i told her that maybe i hurt his feelings. maybe he saw the wild, unruly blonde hair, my long, patched denim skirt, and my big fake gold hoop earrings and thought i was an old hippie pothead. maybe he just wanted to score, but you know, weed, not sex. she had to stop the car she was laughing so hard. she said, "oh, God, mom. (our Dragon) would love it. i've missed your warped sense of humor. promise me. when you go to San Diego, you'll just say stuff. don't clam up. just say what you think. i promise you someone will laugh."

i have these grief surges. i read about them in a book another widow mailed to me. grief surges catch you off guard. you think, "i'm doing okay. i'm going to survive this. in fact, i damn well may smile today and it might even reach my eyes." then BAM. a song. the sound of seagulls over the Wal-Mart parking lot. or the sight of his beautiful face while i color correct all my photos of him. i feel short of breath. my heart actually hurts. my throat closes up as i fight off sobs. my eyes burn and the smile that was supposed to occur dies in sorrow.

so on this no big special deal today, just another month going by, here are some photos of my Dragon i don't think you've ever seen.

out on, okay, way out on Flat Rock Point dreaming of our island.

heading to the low tide point where we can wade across to climb up to the top of Salt Island.

there were crabs that made their home of this side of Flat Rock Point. we always went to check on them at dusk.

at the end of the Dog Bar off Eastern Point Light. we loved it out here during storms. the waves would slam into the granite and arch over the seawall. great place to be when the wind was howling. no one else would be out there.

my beautiful, wild Dragon. i miss you, love.

do you ever think of me? do you say my name? if i were never there again, would you never be the same? ~ my little rhyme for the day.


Widow in the Middle said...

I watched "House" last night because the guest actress used to star on "That 70s Show" and I wanted to see how she acted in a drama instead of a comedy. She was amazing and a key part of the plot involved her being a fanatical blogger. At one point, someone asked if blog friends are as real or valid as those we can interact with in person, and the reply was that they are indeed; perhaps even more so, because on a certain level, we bloggers are so deep and intimate with our feelings and emotions.

So you are certainly surrounded by good, dear friends who love you completely for who you are and derive a great deal from knowing you.

I too, think and fret about the future, including the exact same things you do - getting a new car, health insurance, moving someplace else. It helps me to know that I am not the only one out there with these concerns.

I know your love and devotion remain with your dear Dragon but it is a nice compliment to be sent a glass of wine - that has never happened to me. I would have taken it because right now I can't afford a glass! Your Dragon would be enjoying this and I am sure he is thinking of you as the attractive woman you are and that he loved! These last photos are great, especially the last one. Dragon was a hunk - a very handsome man. I hope you do not mind me admiring him and telling you this. I know his soul inside was gold - but he was also beautiful outside.

Dan, in real time. said...

First off, a confession, after all I am Catholic. I was already laughing when you thought to ask us not to. I could picture the birds eyeing you, and your dogs, through the screen, thinking they are going to be fed one way or another.

As for the glass of wine incident, another classic way of getting to know your sense of humor, which I love. Now I'm not sure if he was looking at a wild hippy chick, as I would have to take a look at him to know, but he was seeing someone he found attractive. If anything it tells you that while you are still feeling married, and perhaps lost in your grief, there is emerging a presence that others are noticing. I'd take it as a good sign.

I'm still smiling about the guy wanting to score, which I believe gives you extra points. So, no need to grade on a curve. A+

judemiller1 said...

I love the pictures of your Dragon--what a strong man he was...he is. your daughter is right about San Diego--be yourself with your quirky sense of humor and everyone will see you as you really are and love you.

womanNshadows said...

WITM, i watched that episode of "House" as well. thank you for helping to define my online value. i still have enough of an ego to like to know these things. and no, i do not mind you thinking my Dragon is handsome. he drew looks and smiles from people as he walked by or interacted. he has an aura that pulls at you when you are in close proximity. there is just something about him.

Dan, i love confession. i was raised to be a habitual apologizer so i confess as i sew, cook, walk the dogs, etc. i talk to God, or maybe i just say that so it doesn't sound like i talk to myself all the time. i am so glad i could make you laugh. unless i am just wallowing in grief and really need to get something out there, i have decided to allow my sense of humor a chance to get a bit of fresh air.

Jude, thank you. he is very strong. my hand always felt so secure in his. if i allow my sense of humor free reign, then yeah, they will see me as i really am and i'm not sure people are ready for that. how about i promise to let my sense of humor out on a leash? choke chain? we'll see.

ann said...

I haven’t commented (or read) for a very long time. I understand completely your feelings of still being married after a year + of widowhood. I felt that way for three years, very married. But today, I no longer wear my wedding bands; instead I wear the engagement ring of a dear man (a widower) who I am looking forward to spending the future with. Nothing could have been more unexpected. I was 100% were you are right now. But sometimes, where we are, isn’t where we stay. Best of luck to you.


p.s. I love your playlist

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

I LOVE YOU. And I am laughing too.

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