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.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

the woman downstairs died today

the woman who lived downstairs from me died today. she was 63.

she was the first person to speak to me after i moved here, and the only one who ever has. she liked my dogs. Ms. Carmen Sophia of the Joyful Yelp and Mr. Scootie Wootums, Lord of the Dance were her special friends and she loved talking to them and petting them. it's funny. they are crazy babies for everyone, but for her, they were gentle and demure.

Memorial Day she threw pebbles at my sliders to get my attention. she could not climb stairs so she threw little stones. i went downstairs and she gave me a poppy she had gotten at the store while she had been out. she knows my Dragon is a Marine and she wanted me to know she was remembering his service. i got teary and she hugged me.

she lived alone and she died alone. she was a widow whose only child had died two years after her husband. she has a niece who lives in California. because of her infirmities she had in-home help that came twice a week to clean her apartment and get her groceries. one of them found her at noon today. i became aware of the tragedy when police cars and the fire truck and the ambulance came rushing up. the apartment manager let everyone in and then there was no more rushing about.

you can tell when the emergency is no longer an emergency by the way people act. 3 hours later i watched them take her out of her apartment for the last time. no one who loved her was standing there to keep vigil like i had done with my Dragon. i did watch from my glass sliders and whispered goodbye to her. i cried for her, but i do not know if that counts at all. she is gone and free of the limitations and pains of this life here.

i fed my dogs and walked them. her wreath for the summer season is still on her door. her welcome mat is still on the concrete outside. all is quiet. i can almost imagine she is sitting inside watching television wondering what to get herself for supper.


there are things i could say, things that are floating through my mind right now, but i am too upset about so many things to express them. i do not know what to say except this:

the woman downstairs died today, and she was a lovely soul. private and independent, still she had noticed me living upstairs alone and we kind of kept up with each other. i went and got her mail for her. if she was going to her car for a doctor's appointment and i was out with the dogs she always stopped to speak to me. this is probably not true and only my perception but it seemed she died alone and will be unremarked upon, so i wanted to let someone know that she lived near me and had been kind to me.

she died and i am sad.
her name was Carolyn.


Suddenwidow said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I have no other words, but I'm sending you love and prayers.

judemiller1 said...

I am so sorry for her--to be alone and sick at such a young age. No husband, no child--she was truly alone, but in her grief, willing to go out of her way to be kind to you and the Scotties. This must be terribly upsetting for you--I know it would be for me--I would have a great sense of emptiness that she is no longer there, living below you. Alone and yet there is some who will miss her and remember and you are one of them.

bev said...

How sad that she died alone, but perhaps she was happy enough in her solitude. Sad for you too though. With each loss, our worlds do get that much smaller.

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