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, September 8, 2010


it is the 9th month of this year and it is the 9th of another month. 19 months today. i still mark time. i feel things deeply on the 8th/9th of each month and during the week of the full moon.

it has been 19 months since the last time i touched him, since he touched me. i feel every one of the days, every minute that has passed since i was lying in his arms in bed with my hand on his chest over his heart. it was so sudden. i still cannot get over how sudden it was. i could not believe it when it was happening and when i failed to save him, well; there is nothing more to say than this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. to have him die under my hands while i tried to save him. to try and breathe for him. to call to him. to feel the kind of cold you cannot ever get warm from. he died while i was trying to save him. i lost him.

i love him. it has not lessened with the passing of this time. i realize it has only been a year and seven months, but i am not doing any better. the only thing is that i am more awake to feel it. i am now able to feel how hollowed out i am from the anguish of his death. i miss him and i feel every day that passes as if it were an Exacto knife cutting my flesh. the blade slices through and at first you do not feel the pain. what you feel first is the cold that antagonizes the exposed tissue. then the burning pain hits. my grief can be like that for me.

we were very involved with each other when he was alive. i have never felt more alive than when i was with him. now that he has died, i feel like an empty form of the woman i could have been allowed to be, just waiting for the plaster to be poured inside, only the sculptor has died so she will remain unfinished. i am not the person i was when my Dragon lived. had you met me once bDd and then met me now, these 19 months later, you would be truly shocked. day and night.

if you have actually met me now, you know i am not as pretty as Bunny; the fuzzy stuffed one that is my stand-in. what life has done to me is etched on my face. the wretchedness i feel is apparent in my eyes. desperation can be heard in my voice. i am at the lowest point i have ever been in my entire life, both financially and in the way i feel about myself and if you had the Cliff's Notes of my life you would realize how low that is. before he died, when i was with my Dragon, i was something. when he looked at me, i felt like he had touched me. his smiles gave me the same thrill that i got when he would run his fingers over my face. every glance he gave me was akin to being touched by him.

he has magic hands. they are so rough that they are smooth, like fine sandpaper. his grip was always firm. when he held my hand, he never lost it even when our hands were sweaty. he held onto me as if he were afraid to ever let go. it was as if holding my hand was all the joy he needed from life. and when he held me in his arms, he held me tight. he loved me and he conveyed it through the power of his touch.

the mere brush of his lips to my cheek, my wrists, my palms, and onto my own lips could penetrate down to my soul. our eyes were always closed his lips touched my skin. i cannot put words to the feelings that raced through me. i felt wanted. i felt beautiful. for the first time, i felt like a woman and i could tell i was truly loved. he did not ask anything of me other than to be with me, and me with him. all we wanted in this world was to be together.

how do i live without him? how do i breathe? some nights, some days, it all feels too much. it is too hard to accept a world without him in it. i would rather be asleep, half dozing, and dream he and i are together by the ocean, in the mountains, hiking, planting a garden, lying tangled on the sofa reading together, or in bed. “to sleep perchance to dream.”

he is my first love. i know how sad that sounds, and unreal. but it is true. he is my first love. he is the first person to love me and it was such a powerful thing. it was tangible. you could hear the music of our love when we talked to each other. you could see the electricity between us. constant touching. fingers laced. quick kisses snatched in public places. silent communication exchanged in looks at each other. we were meant to be together. i wish we could have been allowed to start much earlier in our lives.

i will never be the same. my Dragon and i are like a Fisher-Price puzzle for preschoolers. there are four pieces to the puzzle. there are 3 pieces that form a triangle around a center piece. the daughter piece on the lower left touches the son piece that sits on the lower right. both of these pieces reach up to touch the wife/mother piece. the shape of a Dragon is in the center and that piece is now missing. and the wife/mother piece of this tragic little puzzle has had to swap places with the daughter piece for the simple reason that she has fallen to her knees in such grief that she cannot stand it sometimes.

there times when it is almost too much to bear. like now. tonight. all i want is to be touched by my Dragon again. i want to be enveloped in his big strong arms and feel his lips on my ear; his breath whispering to me that this has all been a bad dream. i want to hear his deep whiskey voice tell me that he is “not going anywhere, love. I will never leave my Bunny. Dragons live forever, remember?”

“hey diddle diddle the cat in the fiddle is a lie like all the rest. the astronauts killed the man in the moon and growing up took care of the rest.”

“Dragons may live forever but not so little boys.” they grow into men who have to die and leave their Bunny. do you see that? Dragon died. Bunny lives. can you hear that Sesame Street song play in your head? “one of these things is not like the other. one of these things just doesn’t belong.” Dragons are strong and eternal. Bunnies are weak and are supposed to only cry once, on the moment they are killed. i am crying all the time. okay, not every minute of every day, but every day i cry for him. if he could hear i wonder if it sounds like bunnies dying all over the place?

i have cut up a lot of his clothes for two quilts, the one on the wall that i need to fix and the one i just finished, plus the pillowcase i made for me. i cannot throw anything away. off and on i have worked on this late at night. i am piecing all the bits and pieces together, for a quilt? it is going to be another quilt. i plan on embroidering flowers on a whole bunch of the pieces to follow a poem i wrote to him a long time ago. this quilt will recite that poem in the language of flowers. this will convey a deeply personal message.

one day it will amount to something very special, like I never did, except that a Dragon once loved me.

i pray he does not see this hollowed out woman in the shadows that i have slid back into being, but i also pray that he is waiting for me. i pray he will come and get me when it is my turn to fly to the other side of the moon. i pray i will feel his warm, steady touch to guide me along. and finally, once again, and this time for all time, i will be allowed to be who i am. i will get to be wild and free. i will be safe. and most definitely, i will be loved.


Debbie G. said...

It was 20 months on the 7th for me and I too still mark the time. My husband was in law enforcement (vs. the Marines) and one of his favorite sayings was the Winston Churchill quote "Never, never, never give up". Some days that is the only thing that keeps me going - because I know he wouldn't want me to give up. And by continuing to live (to the best of my ability at the moment) one day at a time, I am honoring his memory. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Mrs P said...

It seems like a lot of widow blogs I read are talking about time lately, myself included. I often wonder if I will ever be able to stop counting the days and noticing each "monumental" one...

Boo said...

walking next to you S x

womanNshadows said...

Debbie G., thank you for writing. it's funny but i hang on to that mantra myself though there are times when i falter. now that i know you are out there, you are in my thoughts and prayers as well.

Mrs. P, it seems time is one of those things that we mark regardless of the why. the calendar has become a silent sentry in our lives. but when you grieve, the silence can scream or sob.

Boo, thank you, my friend.

peace to you all.

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