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.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

open water and the Dragon over the setting sun

i miss my husband. today it is acting upon me physically and emotionally, causing me a pain that is pulling me down below the surface of this grief.

all around me life is going on while i feel like i am drifting out in open water. i am exposed and alone being carried along on a current that i have no idea where it is taking me. that's what it feels like when i read about how others are still grieving but so very busy, about the changes they are enacting in their lives because they have control over their own lives, and about how some are making a difference in the lives of others. then i examine what i have accomplished and see that my little business that i am struggling to get off the ground is doing nothing to change anyone's world. there is no impact that i can see. my Memory Quilts, all the things i sew and embroider do nothing for anyone. my art is just that,it is mine. it has no impact. i do not think it will leave any legacy at all. at least that is what it feels like today while these waves lift me so high up and the drop me down hard and fast in a trough so deep that i cannot see the sky. i cannot see what i am worth. i am still floating along but i cannot lift my head nor see anything but such sorrow right now.

i am worth a lot to my children and i am blessed with them. i also remember how it felt to be loved by my Dragon, and how alive i felt with him. now i only have the memories of how it felt. he gave me such a deep and beautiful love and i never took it for granted. i love him so much and we communicated that to each other daily. he is a force of nature and now that he is gone, it is like all the air was sucked out of the world, out of my world, and i am faltering. why did he have to go? why was he taken away from me? i am the one who has nothing to offer the world. i am the weak one. all i am and have is my love for my Dragon. why wasn't it me?

last night's sky gave the gift of the most beautiful sunset. the clouds gathered around the sun as it was making way for the moon, now waxing towards the 28th. i went and took pictures for an online community i joined: Clouds 365. it is something i can do now. i take photos of the clouds and upload them, and sometimes people say nice things, only nice things. no one has been mean yet.

i was very lonely last night for no particular reason. i miss him. the sky was beautiful and i wanted someone to share it with. i wanted him.

and there he was. strung out across the sky over the top of the setting sun. he was resting his chin on a cloud. my Dragon.

i wish i felt better. i keep working and feigning a smile on Mondays when i get to go out. i keep thinking any day now i will start to feel better. any day now the VA will come through. any day now someone will call and ask, "how are you? would you like a visit? i'd love to see you."

i wish i could find a way to make a difference some how so that i can be seen again. i would like to leave something behind so i might be remembered by at least one other person beyond my two children. if i died today my funeral would be an Eleanor Rigby affair.

i had thought i could make a mark with my sewing, my Memory quilts, and all the other things i can make but i am not sure anymore. that whole Facebook/confusion/smack-down showed me how quickly i can be the lowest common denominator and i have not come back from that yet. i second guess everything. on top of the dentist thing and facing the imagined fears of being a wraith in San Diego in August, i am in a bad place these days. my daughter and i are talking about it all and she is just as confused as i am about things but she is angry that people have been so cavalier with my feelings while i am just hurt about it. but whereas she wants to try to fix it, i am too tired to try. sometimes people, like things, get too broken to bother. i have patched myself and glued myself together so many times over my life that it should be routine. but since i see there is no one to whom it would really matter, and my children know that i am scarred, what is the point?

i miss him. i wish i had him to talk to. i wish i had him to laugh with. no matter how rough it got in our lives, there was love. we had each other. he would touch me. he would hold my hand. i would caress his face, touch his beard. i would massage his shoulders and his back. we nurtured each other and cared for each other in tangible and intangible ways all day every day. we loved being together. every moment was a blessing.

i miss being in his arms. i miss being liked, and loved. i miss my Dragon.

the heavy blanket of clouds is parting this afternoon. maybe there will be another Dragon in the sky this evening, warming himself over the setting sun. if not, then at least the moon is waxing.

and i will have a perfect view of both out here in open water.


Dan, in real time. said...

I recognize this dark loneliness you are feeling today. It darkens every bit of sun that would usually illunminate what we all see in you. That is why I often just stand in front of my mirror, staring at the person who feels invisible. It's a simple process that helps me to accept that I am still here, and that I am making progress.

Last weekend I got together with Michael's friends. I was on a walk with his best friend. He was asking about Michael's mother, saying he felt guilty for not visiting or reaching out to her. I gently told him that she has asked for him, and that I felt he needed to make the effort. I then told him about your memory quilts, and how you chose to lay out the quilt you are creating for Barbara. Michael's friend said that the finished product will be so comforting for her, and thought you came up with a brilliant way of laying out the clothing as if he was planning his next trip.

People who don't know you are already being touched by your work. Your legacy began quite some time ago.

This blog is the most loving tribute to the love you shared with Dragon, and it is leaving a legacy that does you both proud. Take a look in the mirror, and let Dragon remind you of who he fell in love with, and who captured his heart, body and soul. It is still you.

One thing that I often think about when reading your blog, is how I would love for you to come out of the shadows. We see so many beautiful photos of who captured you heart. I would love to see who captured his heart. Especially a picture of you looking back at him. I think this could take away some of your apprehension about how things will go at Camp Widow. You will have already taken that step.

Sending you my love and encouragement.


Anonymous said...

My dearest womanNshadows, i can only echo what your friend above has put into words so well. I happen to have the honor of knowing what you like. Your husband carried your photo while on our missions and yes, he did pull it out and look at you and speak about you. I know how beautiful you are outside and within. It is your eyes. I always liked looking at your eyes in his photo.

He loves you so very much and I want you to draw strength from that. As the song you've chosen fits into your writing still so well, I know you would do anything for him. You would indeed follow him into the dark. So do this one thing more. Keep floating. Be true to yourself. I know how alone you are each day and you have lived it so eloquently now for 15 months. But your quilts are a legacy. Your photographs are as well. And your writing. I will continue to push you to try to get published. Your writing is soulful and beautifully honest.

There is a Heaven meant just for the two of you. Dragon and his Beach Bunny. He called you that when he spoke of you. He'd look at his watch and say, "My wife is on the beach right now. I can feel it. My Beach Bunny." Your connection is so strong. Bonded and woven together. He's waiting for you. Stay strong. You made the joke the other night on the phone that you try to think of yourself still as a Marine's wife whose husband is merely deployed. You are and he is. But he's waiting for you. And I will wait with you until you two can be reunited. It would be my greatest honor.

Semper Fi, dear Lady

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

You are totally leaving a legacy with your beautiful artwork, and you are loved, misunderstandings or no.

Suddenwidow said...

Please know that you do make a difference in the lives of everyone who has a memory quilt make by your hands. Those quilts help us feel closer to our lost loves. On days when we feel that we can't go on without feeling their arms around us, the quilts softly wrap us in their love. On days when the grief leaves us chilled to the bone, the quilts wrap us in their love. On days when we are looking for memories to fill our heart, they quickly bring comments like "Remember when he wore that? We were.....". Your quilts do make a difference in our lives and everytime we appreciate them we think of you, who worked so hard to create them for us.

We all desperately miss our loved ones. No matter how busy life is for us, that aching hole in our hearts and in the core of our being still eats away at us every minute of every day. I still long to feel his arms around me, to hear his voice, to feel his support, to hear his laughter, to smell his skin and to know his love. Your quilts help to fill that void, just a little, and that is very meaningful. Don't ever doubt that what you do matters. I think you need to print your testimonials, emails and comments on your blog so you can have them right in front of you whenever you are doubting yourself.

Wishing you peace tonight.

womanNshadows said...

Dan, the generosity of your words is a balm. what i create is all i have left and the only thing i feel comfortable showing people. i will try the mirror thing; see if i can find who he fell in love with behind the sadness. thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. maybe at Camp Widow we can set aside some time to quietly talk. i would love to listen to you.

Brick, my constant friend, you have become the voice i hear over the waves. your stories about my husband keep me connected to him in an intangible way that i sorely need. thank you for being good to me. thank you for symbolically holding my hand. Et oui, j'ai besoin de vous.

Supa, what is there for me to say.

Suddenwidow, i am glad to know you and your sons like your quilts. i am glad to know they can give comfort even if it's only a little. since my worktable is a mere 4 feet from the computer, i do not have to find a printer but only have to call the blog up again when i need someone's words of encouragement. thank you for your kind thoughts.

i wish all of you peace.

judemiller1 said...

Your memory quilts are part of your legacy. Someone will visit a home where a memory quilt is and ask, "Who made that beautiful quilt?" The answer will be your name and then that person will tell another and another and your name will be said by many people. You mean a lot to this world--you mean a lot to me.

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