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, September 14, 2010

the path ~ Soul Widows

“Life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

it is true. life is a wild ride that has no hint of what is around the corner. no one can do more than plan and then, as my Marine husband used to say, “improvise, adapt, and overcome.” i have redone my song list. i let it play while i sew. it plays out my story, not unlike using the language of flowers to send a note. i am sending notes {musical} to speak what i cannot say.

i always thought i would die first. i am nothing special and can only offer my interpretations of life as i see it through sewing, painting, photography, woodcarvings, and stained glass.

me wishing for love created before i met my Dragon

i also give everyone my two cents here. sometimes they throw it back but i can only be who i am. and who i am is that i do not know what to do with myself. yes, i sew and work my behind off on it, but why was it him that left this world first? why not me? my Dragon was so much more full of life. i have never met anyone with the energy and the, i do not know if i should even use the word. aura. no, that is not the direction i want to go. but there was something about him that made people look at him, go to him; everyone gravitated to him. he lived every moment of his life while i have been trained to ask permission to breathe.

this is the path my Dragon and i always took to the cove we lived beside. it is a spiritual path and one that we walked very slowly on.

life presents a path in front of each of us. it is sometimes easy and sometimes hard. sometimes it takes us close to Hell, close enough that we believe we are there. my path had kept me close to Hell for over 40 years, and then i met my Dragon and he lead me to his path. it was such a beautiful journey. no matter the season, where he walked there was such beauty and joy and love. yes, we had difficult times. sometimes he would get a call and look at me as he listened. if the only thing he said was, “i’ll be waiting,” i knew he was leaving on a mission. the "go bag" was ready and off he would go somewhere doing something. i would miss him and worry about him, but he did come back to me. i had the privilege of having him die in my arms. he was with me when it happened. it is a double-edged sword.

walking back down the road to our old house after checking the mail. our place was tucked way back in by the cove.

now i am on my path alone again. it is no longer his path, or our path. it is mine and it is so strange. i wish for a friend. i wish for a little more freedom. the VA called a couple of weeks ago and they hope to have something for me in “3 – 4 weeks.” my fingers are crossed that my days of being a burden to you-know-who is over. i really need to be able to breathe.

i am going on another widow’s retreat. i think i can guess what is crossing your mind. let me say that i was not ready for Camp Widow. i did not know what to expect. i keep my head down all the time and seldom look up. it was large and noisy and it came during my Dragon Days, birthday, 18-month milestone, and our wedding anniversary. i was afraid to be away from my apartment. i admit i was intimidated.

this retreat is a spiritual one. it is organized by Elizabeth Woods who founded Soul Widows. she has gifted me with a scholarship to go and be a part of something smaller, more intimate, in a beautiful old bed and breakfast in Tryon, NC close to the Blue Ridge Mountains. she offers personal interaction and group therapy, art therapy, rituals and journal writing. we will go outside to a place called Pearson’s Falls where i am sure, that first weekend in November when the retreat occurs, the beautiful trees and fresh air will renew my spirit. i see this retreat as more along the lines of what i need at this time. it is a place where i may be part of a small group. i will have a turn to talk and be heard and i will be given the privilege of listening to and being strong for someone else.

i want to honor Elizabeth’s gift to me by writing about her retreat and my excitement in going. i cannot explain why i already feel such elated anticipation in going, but it feels right. her website speaks to me in a quiet way that i crave. the tone reminds me of my Dragon, when he would be gentle with me when i was scared or upset. sacred is the only word i can come up with.

i plan on taking Bunny and my camera and writing about our time there. Bunny is very excited and is checking the weather to see if she will need her Dragon’s watch cap to keep her little fuzzy head warm.

i am on a path i never wanted to be on. i honestly did not believe he would die first. he is so strong both in body and spirit. and his heart? a heart attack? seriously? his heart was enormous in an emotional and spiritual sense. i never thought it would quit on him. i had wanted to go first even though i am afraid of everything. like new adventures. i am scared to live and scared to die. i am a huge mess and yet, i know he loved me, loves me? loves me. i love him and miss him terribly. but i am looking forward to feeling connected to something and someone, everyone, through Soul Widows. i am already packed and ready to go in my mind.

and as for my path now, wherever it takes me, my mind will always long for the ocean. maybe one day i will be allowed the chance to finish my life beside it again.

the boardwalk over the dunes to Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester; just a short but gloriously meandering 4 mile walk from our place.

for now, i am living a life with my Dragon alive inside me. i am reaching for one where i feel blessed to tell others about him. i am working on being the woman i was when he was alive beside me. the Dragon's widow. the Dragon's wife. i want to see him smiling when i rejoin him.


Lonesome Dove said...

YOU GO GIRL! I am so happy for you for your upcoming adventure. I think it will be very good for you and the location sounds like a great place to soothe your soul. Your playlist made me smile today. Listening to Rod Stewart (I Am Sailing) was just what I needed.

Your path will give you many new opportunities, so stay the course. The path you shared with your dragon has prepared you for this journey and you know how to navigate it.


judemiller1 said...

Oh--I am so excited for you. This retreat sounds wonderful--small and intimate and calming and soothing. I see you navigating your path a bit better in the last month or so. Dragon would be so proud of you--you are The Dragon's Widow--the Dragon's Woman--strong. Let's hope the VA gets their S*** together and gets you what you so rightfully deserve.

Boo said...

I really hope you find what you are looking for at the retreat. I agree with Jude, I have seen you making headway these past couple of months, so maybe the timing is right for something like this. I hope so for you xxx

J-in-Wales said...

Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures of your world with your Dragon. I sincerely hope that the retreat helps you see the woman you were once more.

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