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, June 5, 2010

the right blue

i got caught in roller waves once. i was diving off a beach in Mexico with a group. we were called up because of a freak squall coming that the spotters on the beach were not sure how long it would last. one does not just "come up" from 60' but we got there and got caught up in rollers.

i felt the pull and turbulence of them with about 12 or so feet still to go. it was sucking me up and turning me around. the BC vest was useless to stabilize me. i had never come up in something like this. i almost did not know where the surface was and wondered if i was swimming the wrong way, heading back down rather than up. both were blue but which one was the right one? i admit i was panicked and breathing too fast. but i struggled and finally popped up.

getting pounded by the waves was no fun even after i got the sand under my feet. i was pushed and shoved and then this intense suction trying to pull my feet out from under me. taking the tank off and stripping down, then sitting down on the beach to look back at where i had come from was a religious experience.

it only has to be quiet and my calling up the memory for me to smell it, feel it, and taste the salt. i remember my muscles ached for days afterwards.

talking about it that night with the group on the beach in front of the fire, you would think we had all barely survived. each of us spoke of the flashes of fear. each of us spoke to the colors of the water and the confusion of which blue was the one to work toward. irony is, we all went back out the next day. the call was too strong. the aches, they would fade by the time the plane returned us each to our respective cities that we called home.

being in rollers is what it has been like for me ever since he died. i feel like i am being tumbled and shoved, rolled and slammed by my misery, by the world, by life itself. i miss him yet i have no recourse. i do not know what to do with myself. i do not know where to swim. which is the right blue?

i called my priest back in New England. i have spoken to him a couple of times since the one year milestone passed. he knew my Dragon and i pretty well. it was a small parish. he said that he believed even if my life circumstances had been different, if i had financial security and been able to stay in Rockport where i had made some friends, that he felt i would still be as i am. i am in mourning. he said it was alright for me to still be this sad, cry this often, and to ponder the unanswerable questions.

he said one thing that actually made me feel good about feeling this sad. he said, "i have not seen a couple as bonded as you two in a long while. people marry and are together for years and years, and they love each other and their marriage is truly blessed. but then there is a couple who find each other, and they fuse together until you realize; you never see one without the other. you stop thinking of them as separate people. you think of them as a couple, always together, permanently joined. death cannot shatter that bond. that's why you feel lost right now. but in a while you will feel your soul settling down, and you will know that you have accepted this wait to be rejoined. that is when you will feel some peace inside."

so i am will keep swimming and tumbling in these rollers of mourning until i feel myself settle down inside. i will eventually stop fighting to "get better" as i have been told will positively happen. then i will finally get my breath. i will be able to breathe without this terrible pain in my chest as i wait. i will focus on the right blue to swim to.
i watched the "Burn Notice" marathon the other day. it was our show. lots of parallels to his life. my Dragon would point out where the writers had left some things out so some idiot could not duplicate something in his garage. we always enjoyed that show together. i miss his insights now. i miss his steady voice.

i wanted to watch "Toy Story" tonight and got there too soon. i saw the end of "The Notebook." i got there as he entered her hospital room and got into bed with her. and then they died together holding hands, side by side.

and it broke me in half.

we always wanted to go out like that. my Dragon had said he did not ever want to see the sun dawn on a world that i was not in. i did not want to be in a world that did not have him in it. we kissed all the time. we touched constantly. we slept together always tangled. i was always cold. he was always toasty. we sighed in the night together. his missions were the only times we were apart. and then he had his last one and we were supposed to be together for a long time.

but our ending has been re-written. i can only hope it is now like "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir."

i'll close my eyes and drop my tea cup. and there he will be. he'll reach out his hand and say, "hello, love. i've been waiting for you."

then he'll take me past the moon to Heaven where the angels will be with us to celebrate the start of our forever and nothing will part us again.
i look at the moon, and he is all i think about. i look up all the time at all the beautiful values of blue that color the heavens.

it is like when i got caught in the rollers. i kept trying to swim up. i needed to go towards the right blue.

i still do.


Dan, in real time. said...

Beautifully, and perfectly, expressed. I have been feeling this, or thinking these thoughts, today as well. Today someone told me to choose life, to feel joy for having Michael in my life. You know the drill. I know people mean well, but we always are left feeling like we are doing something wrong. I didn't have the energy to tell her that she is lucky to be so naive. I think we are actively pursuing the blue, but like you, I'm not always sure what blue I am walking toward on any given day.

I'm not sure when this emptiness, and loneliness, is supposed to subside. It feels like never. At least for now.

bev said...

My husband and I were very close too. I worked in the same occupation for most of my life, and we worked together for many years. All of our spare time was spent canoeing, hiking, gardening, or just being together. Everyone who knew us thought of us as inseparable, and also as being a bit apart from the rest of the world. I would describe that as how we were. Together, we were complete and didn't need anyone else to exist. It's very weird being alone now - especially as I have gone off to just live alone with my dogs in new places. That seems to be the only way that feels comfortable. I suppose, in many ways, I'm just carrying on as if we were two. I know it's a rather strange and solitary existence, but seems to be okay. I have tried to think back to how I felt after Don died. I think that, by traveling, I did not wait for things to heal or whatever is supposed to happen. I just started making a new way - exploring all the shades of blue - and not thinking about what comes next. It's not for everyone.. in fact, I would not recommend this way for most people.. but for me, it seems to be okay. I think we each have to find our own way of finding the right blue. I don't actually believe we ever get over our grief when we are very close to someone, but that we learn ways to deal with it. Good luck in finding your right blue.
(Btw, I just clicked on "post comment" and the captcha word was "chemo". How weird, eh"?)

Anonymous said...

Hello, my friend,

God you can cut me in half with your words. I feel your longing for him all the way on the other side of the world. And you wrote this after we talked. I knew you were having a hard night but I would have talked longer if I had known. Or maybe I don't know. Maybe it's one of those things that even you don't know. I can see the waves of the Indian Ocean from my deck and all day today we had some heavier waves. No one knew they were coming. Maybe it's like that for you. You just don't know from one moment to the next when one will pull you down.

I'm here for you. Use me. I knew only one side of him. I knew the dog of war as it were. You knew the other Dragon. You knew the man he really was. You introduce me to him and I'll tell you of how he kept his humanity because he had you to come home to.

(See? I'm almost eloquent. I got that book you told me about and I'm reading it. It's not just something to set my beer on. You're breaking me of my heathen ways. Having said that, I know I made you laugh.)

Semper Fi, dear Lady.

judemiller1 said...

Beautiful. Your Priest was right--it is rare to see a couple so closely entwined--even those that have been "married" for years. You had a rare life with Dragon--I am glad you did and you are glad too. Just not fair that it always seems that the really good things in life never last forever.

Suddenwidow said...

Beautiful post. Striking imagery of the rollers. I hope the water calms for you today and the right blue is easier to see.

womanNshadows said...

thank you all. it's just been one of those days, collection of days. i know which blue to swim for, to wait for. it's just the rollers of grief sometimes hold me under a little too long.

peace to you all.

家谷 said...

Joy often comes after sorrow, like morning after night.......................................................

Dan, in real time. said...

Sitting here late at night, thinking about you. You are not alone.

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