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, June 1, 2010

the dreamer spies the dawn

i have always been a dreamer, a bit too much of a philosopher, and an observer of life and people to the point where i have had to be brought into my own life very rudely.

if i am truly honest with myself, i should have tried to have been a teacher of philosophy and gained tenure with some small liberal arts college. preferably one with lots of trees and mountains, or a college by the sea.

i am a dreamer and as a little girl i had my hopes for my adult life. i wanted to love and be loved. i wanted children and a small house, a cottage really with a yard large enough for a garden. rural was my preference but with love, ah, you all know; you go where your love is.

as a little girl, i had an idea of my love. i wanted G.I. Joe. the Barbie my mother bought me always dated and eventually married G.I. Joe. never Ken. he was too ambiguous. Ken seemed to slick and soft. pasty boy. Joe had a tan and muscles and could protect Barbie. you have to remember my childhood was one of not feeling safe or loved, so Joe was going to come in and rescue me. by 12, i knew it was up to me so i studied and graduated high school early. i was steadily moving through college right up until my mother was diagnosed with cancer. then i quit school and moved into the hospice to live with her and care for her so that she did not die alone.

i met a Ken, not G.I. Joe, but i cared deeply for him, for his cool manner, and his financial stability. we married only for me to find out slowly that he could never love me. my thoughts about Ken dolls had been prophetic after all.

and then i met my G.I. Joe, my Dragon. he was everything i had ever imagined, read about, dreamed about, and wanted. funny thing. he wanted me for the same reasons. kismet.
such a fine man with dreams of his own. and they matched mine. almost too late in finding each other, we lived for each moment we were given. we talked and planned and dreamed out loud incorporating each other's quirks into our sketches for our life together.

we would live by the ocean. there was a home that needed saving, the old fort at the end of the Neck. it was not on our cove but we could walk there easily. the fort was too unique to pass up simply because it did not sit on the cove.
and i would have my studio there. my sketches were detailed and in color. yes, i took the time to fill in with colored pencils.

they are now rolled up in a tube in the closet. i have been unable to look at them. but, dreamer that i am, i do not have to look at them. i know what i drew. i remember all that we wanted to do to the place. i can hear his deep voice in my head speaking about it, even with my eyes open.
he was a dreamer like me, a philosopher, a profound thinker, and one thing more. he was the adventurer i never was. the story of his life allowed me to go all over the world with him. i saw war, walked through jungles, and parachuted out of planes in the night. i ate unusual food and heard him speak languages i never would have heard without him. he introduced me to the wildness that lived inside him that gave him the courage to say "yes" to all the different things our country asked him to do. and through his stories i went with him when he recalled it all.
days were something we welcomed together and sunsets meant nights tangled up together. he returned from his last mission with a fever for holding on to me even more than before. i have recently learned he almost died that last time, closer than he had ever been to being killed. he never told me. i only accepted his need for touch with welcome arms. i love being in his arms, having his face in my neck, and his whispers in my ear.

and now comes the dreamer's dawn. i miss him.

i read. Lord Byron, John Donne, Yeats, Rilke, Gibran. i read a lot. mood reading. Oscar Wilde wrote: "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

my Dragon died on the night of a full moon. it is coming up on 16 months. i read what widows and widowers write to forum questions and i do not feel any compatibility with them. i am not finding any small smiles. i am not coming across any little joys to light my way. i believe there is a bond between my Dragon and i that precludes me ever finding a man that i could feel comfortable with. there are too many Ken dolls out there. the true, old breed of G.I. Joe that would be my peer is a once in a lifetime thing. i had my once in a lifetime with my Dragon.

the forums provide me with enough insight to some of the more vocal others that i feel far apart from them. they are only a infinitesimal slice of widows and widowers but i know i am not capable of joining in with my despondency. i would most likely be ripped to shreds.

my life circumstance is such that it is inhibiting my grieving. arrested grief as it were. can there be such a thing? can so much happen to a recently bereaved person that it hinders the grief process?

often i feel like i am still sitting in the nether-week between his death and his funeral. i am numb with terror at how to survive. i am crippled with the loss of him. never to be in his arms. never to hear his voice coax me along, giving me his support. never to let my fingertips touch his face, his beard, his brow.

in some ways i feel like i have been pushed down a gauntlet that is lined with people armed with canes ready and capable of striking out at any slightest perceived error. i have been struck many times since my Dragon died. if he knew, he would be pissed. he is dreamer but also a man of action. as for me? i am exhausted. life tired. battle weary. 1000 yard stare tired.

i am a dreamer and i am now facing the dawn alone. the moon has set and my Dragon has flown. it is dawn on a world i do not care for.

"Once I beheld a splendid dream,
A visionary scene of bliss:
Truth! -- wherefore did they hated beam
Awake me to a world like this?"
~ Lord Byron

i love my Dragon, my beautiful dreamer, the keeper of my heart, and the other half of my soul. how could they have parted us so cruelly? how could they have taken just you and left me here alone?

the dreamer spies the dawn and has to turn her eyes away. the landscape is too harsh.


Anonymous said...

Dearest womanNshadows,

That last mission, what happened to us, it was a story I felt you should know about because it reinforces how much he loved you. He fought so hard to get back to you. You were what kept him going.

I know you miss him, God I know. You two were meant to be together. I was glad to hear your laugh on the phone. As for being a dreamer, stay a dreamer. Your Dragon loved that aspect of you so much. He loved your mind and soul as much as your physical appearance.

As much as you wish peace for me, I wish it for you. I know how hard it's been for you lately. Keep hanging on. He's not going anywhere. He's waiting for you just the other side of your moon.

Semper Fi,

Dan, in real time. said...

I was talking to my therapist today about feeling stuck in the anger and bitterness that I feel. I can't seem to get past the anger that God did this to us, or that God let this happen. It feels like a betrayal. It goes back to my first love, who I met while we were both studying to become priests. I chose to leave, he chose to stay. God won then, taking my love from me, and he did it again.

So, as you describe, I do think that our life's circumstances can inhibit our grief process. My therapist brought up to me that while I look back to my early 20's, and losing my first love to the priesthood, he challenges me to look back further for this same sense of betrayal. When I thought about it I had to admit that I felt that I was a good kid, yet God put so much on me at an early age.

So when people say that death is not personal, and that it happens to everyone at some point, it is of little consolation to me. It feels very personal, and my life's experiences had led me to the point where I am stuck. I don't know if I will ever be able to move past this stage of feeling angry and bitter.

I suppose this is my way of saying, that your feelings about your experience are quite valid. You deserved better. You deserved to have your Dragon for the rest of you life, not just his.



judemiller1 said...

There is nothing wrong with being a dreamer--without dreams why would we want to live? I too am one and when the dream is shattered, as mine was recently, it sure makes life harder--emotionally harder. But you put two dreamers together and they can conquer the world!!!

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