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, May 15, 2010

lost soul

i feel like a lost soul these days. because of circumstances, i exist in a very limited way and space that makes me feel like a wraith in my own life. i wake. i work. i sleep. i do not go out. i am taken to the grocery store, for work supplies, and the used bookstore. then back. mondays allows me 3 – 4 hours out and away. clerks see me because they are the ones who finish the transaction i initiate by bringing what i would like to purchase to their counter.

i am lonely. would i like a woman friend, a peer to talk to about woman things? yes. it is hard here. i think the drawback of befriending me might be my lower financial situation, my lack of having a car which makes my company a burden, and my having come into already established lives that are flush with friends and extended families. i can only bring me to a friendship and so far i see that i am not enough.

my phone has rung twice since before Christmas that it was not my son or daughter. there are not many from anyone i have met here who check to see if i am okay and i have stopped calling. it feels too much like i am begging. it breaks my self-esteem. i did it for the first 11 months after i met a few widows but i was continually put off due to their busy lives. it lead to few of my calls being returned to none. like the song says, “I can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.”

i did get one “curiosity” call about my issues with the dentist. i said “hello” and the woman immediately advised me on what i should be doing, explaining that i was a fool to go back. she closed with, “See, you get phone calls. I just called.” the dial tone prevented even my chance to say “thank you,” and “goodbye.”

i do have a constant friend, that’s what i call him, my constant friend. he is my pen pal if one can be called such a thing when communicating solely on the computer. he is my husband’s Marine “brother.” i want him to know i am most grateful to him. one, he tells me stories about my Dragon which adds to the painting i had started in my head. two, he talks to me and has yet to find fault with me.

the stories. i seriously wish my husband’s friend had come for a visit. i would have plied them with alcohol and then taped them reminiscing about all their “adventures.” i would have been allowed such a legacy in that tape. two men whose lives were spent serving their country in places like Vietnam, Angola, Beirut, and Afghanistan, dancing on the tip of the iceberg. they have so many stories, both separately and together. some are wildly funny. some are just wild. listening when my Dragon told me things, i was always studying his body language to make sure he was okay during the telling. listening to my constant friend, i can continue my visions and empathy of what my Dragon and he went through. i can sense the fear they sometimes dealt with as well as the adrenalin rush. i can close my eyes in wonder at what these men were asked to do. most of all, i am continuing to learn what my Dragon and my constant friend live with.

i miss my Dragon. as each day passes, each week, i miss him more and more and yet, oddly, i am becoming more accustomed to feeling this way. it is not any easier. i am doing what has to be done to continue. I am adapting.

i am lonely for him. i miss the thrill i got when he smiled at me. i miss flirting with him. i miss his presence. i miss his words, his brooding, his nightmares, his laughter, and his breathing next to me in bed. i miss his warmth and his love. i miss his legs, arms, hands, mouth, and his eyes looking at me.

i wish he had not died. i sometimes want to go back to where we lived so much that it breaks me. i wonder if i could find peace back there. it was more a small village than a town. people knew us, they knew me and liked me. it was okay to be exactly the person i am. like my Dragon, they saw me, listened if i spoke, and liked what i made. i wonder if i had had the wherewithal to stay, if my grief would have been more poignant and less stressful as i settled in to wait to be with him rather than being here with this lonely gut-wrenching pain and not having anyone to talk about him with. the pull to go back to the cove is so strong inside me but is also one that, even with all the money in the world, would be impossible to fulfill. i cannot explain. the pain is so great that taking the time to explain would send me to bed. accept that it is beyond my reach. to quote another song, “you can spend your whole life working for something just to have it taken away.”

it was all taken away. it is for everyone who loses their spouse. i am not worse off than anyone else. i am simply trying to find a way to be heard. i am saying it was the same for me. here is the only place where i may try to express what i am feeling with any hope that someone will hear me.

when my Dragon died, i did not ask for any of my love to come back to me. i do not want it back. it belongs to him. i gave it all to him a long time ago. but i also lost my place in this life. i lost people seeing me, realizing i hurt as well. i lost our location. i lost our cove, our small slice of the ocean, our island, and all our dreams.

i lost the love of my life, the one i am meant to be with. it was sudden and he went quick. i did not get any last words. i wish i had. just to hear his voice again. once more.

sometimes, when i first wake up, or in the early afternoon with there are still hours and hours of living still yet to face in the day; i can get tricked into believing he is not really gone from me for the rest of my life. for a second i sometimes think that he should be back from his errand. but then i look out the window, not at the ocean, but at asphalt, and i remember.


Anonymous said...

My dear womanNshadows,

I'm up for my watch on board and I checked here for you. Constant friend. I'm honored and it's very true. We've written each other and spoken on the phone. You're an amazing woman with a heart of gold and so much intelligence. I plan on being here for you. And I don't believe it's you. People aren't taking the time to know you.

Two things that should give them a clue how intriguing you are. Your photography and your choices of first songs. You've changed it again. You match it to your mood and your writing and it adds layers to what you aren't admitting to. I had to listen to this latest one a few times. It's after midnight here and we're out in open water. Your song came on as I started to read and it is haunting in this situation.

He loves you. Look into his eyes in your pictures. You gave him all your love but you hold his. He's waiting for you. Semper Fi. Always faithful. He believed in that with everything he was and is. And he knows you love him. He was really happy being with you. I want you to hold onto that. I know with everything going on you're really down. Just keep writing, keep talking to me. Remember you have a constant friend in me.


Marty B. said...

Given a choice between the long painful loss of my spouse or the sudden and quick painful loss like yours -- it would be impossible to choose. They are different kinds of pain, but equally deep. All the best from a newly lost soul.

womanNshadows said...

Brick, i hope you find the rest of the pirates so you can get home. thank you for your stories about him that make me smile when i do not feel like it at all. thank you for being so kind.

Marty B. i am very sorry for your so recent loss. and you are right. it is impossible to choose from two completely soul-searing options. i wish you peace.

Dan, in real time. said...

I often wish I lived in your town. I would come by, and we would go out for long walks. You are such a gifted writer, so I know that your verbal expression would be most satisfying to listen to.

It seems to be a time when we could use a close friend. Like you convey, it is also a difficult time to attract friends when we are so lost in our grief. This afternoon my local best friend, and her partner, dropped by to give my son his birthday gift. She is his godmother from his baptism. The two of them havne't been over to our house since the initial months after Michael died. It felt great to have the two of them sitting on my couch. I was so beginning to enjoy the visit when they announced that they couldn't stay. The had another commitment. I smiled, and wished them well on their vacation to Maui this week. I enthusiastically waved goodbye, telling them to have a good time. I closed the door, and felt let down. It's kind of sad, because they live only five minutes away by car. It shouldn't be six months between visits. I do work with my friend, but it's not quite the same as having her in my home.

I know this doesn't compare to your isolation, but I think it does speak to how starved we are for adult interaction. I often think how all my colleagues spend their weekends, having a wonderful time with their spouses. Then I think of myself sitting on my couch staring at this computer. The children are around, but I feel emotionally removed from them half the time.

By the way, I love the photo of the sky, with the moon kind of shyly winking.

womanNshadows said...

Dan, i wish we lived closer as well. i would love to walk over to your place and sit in your garden with you. we would talk, or simply be quiet together as newly met "old" friends can do. kindred souls connected by the loss of our husbands. the unspoken pain understood. the loneliness eased by sitting with each other. i am glad you like the my moon photo. i am limited now on how many more photos of my Dragon i can share but even if i stopped taking photos tonight, i will never run out of moon photos i have already taken.

peace to you, Dan.

Anonymous said...

Thursday marked 10 months since my husband's accident. I have heard so many times "It'll get better" since his death. I've come to the realization like you have, that nothing really get "better", you just get use to feeling crappy all the time. Having your life taken from you happens on so many levels doesn't it? We live in my husband's hometown and because I've only been here 2 1/2 years, most of my friends were his friends and family. His family would rather pretend me and my two children from a previous marriage never existed. I used to call or text them, but I was the one always initiating the contact and eventually stopped, because it became obvious they didn't care how I was doing. His sister and oldest daughter even made a photo book for his son that included everyone except me and my kids and posted it online. I can sit with other parents at a school event and still feel alone. I also sometimes catch myself feeling that he's just gone somewhere for a time. It's not a conscious thought at all, because the whole horrible nature of the accident and death are constantly replaying in my mind. I'm about to make a decision to move back south. There is no other choice for us. There is nothing left here but memories and we can take those with us. I never thought I would be in the situation, even after his death. I feel like I'm betraying him, but he would understand. He would be so disappointed in his family's behavior. Sorry to be so long-winded here and get diverted from the purpose. I hope that you can someday find your way back to the oceanside you shared with your husband.

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