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, October 19, 2010

toward him

i am still here. i wish to thank C., and C.L., and M., and T., and V. for the emails of concern and care. you took the time to reach out to me during your busy lives and i am very, very grateful. you saw me for what i am and what my life has become ~ a Bunny who has fallen off her Dragon over open water. she is treading water, not knowing which way to swim. your kindness means so much. bless you all.

i have been alternating between all-consuming panic and an acceptance that this is my life now. i am waiting for the VA ~ still in that 10 - 40 day period of when they say they will let me know. i am still searching for work. my son and daughter have both told me that, no matter what happens, i will never be homeless or without food. my son-in-law's father has even tried to reassure me. and i do feel that they are weaving a net under me. my children reminded me of a book i read to them when they were small titled, "A Special Trade." i raised them and kept them safe. my Dragon and i paid for them to get through college. it is time for me to lean on them. it does, however, cause me great, great pain to be in this position. i am desperately and actively searching for work via outside my apartment and through encouraging anyone to recommend my sewing skills to whomever may want them. please.

i have been hiding from life by working almost nonstop on all the embroidery on a quilt and on jeans for a little girl.
i am almost finished with a sunset on a beach image my client wants. still a little more orange to go but i bought the floss today so, after this posting, back at it.
and i give my back a break from the quilt embroidery work by going to sit on my balcony and embroider on a pair of jeans for a little girl, a sweet 6 year-old who even wrote me a note thanking me in advance.
this pair will be my version of a Tasha Tudor garden. the next pair will have a unicorn on a beach with a sand castle.

i can hide in my embroidery work. my air conditioner broke a month or so ago and the apartment had been getting up to 95 degrees inside, hence sitting on the balcony as much as possible. the part finally came in and the two men came to fix it. they saw the beach embroidery and were almost speechless. they both paused over it, gingerly touched the treads. i told them a little about the young man for whom the quilt will belong, a little about the family, and why i go to so much extra effort and detail to try and bring them comfort. my daughter tried to point out that i really do good work.

{she was a little more ebullient with the compliments but i cannot repeat those words. i cannot talk about myself that way. i can only see my flaws and faults. my Dragon was my mirror and he is gone. before him, i never saw myself as anything other than the words used by my mother and Voldemort to describe me. i had only in the last couple of years accepted that my Dragon really believed i was valuable. he taught me to see what he saw. this is something i will have to remember, his words, when i look in a mirror. but always, i will keep these memories to myself since he is not here to back me up.}

i miss him. i miss him desperately. i miss him holding my hand. i miss laying with him reading, his fingers absentmindedly playing with my hair. i miss his touching me. i miss him coming up behind me whispering his risque plans for a romantic evening. i miss him. i miss everything about our life together.

it has been 20 months and 10 days. the full moon is coming. i am tired. i am in pain. i am lonely, but only lonely for him. i need to survive without being too big a burden to my children. i need the VA to approve the pension. being terrified and poor and grieving is purgatory. time is passing and i am further and further away from the last time i held him and smelled his skin and kissed his mouth. i am being pushed along to places and experiences i never wanted to feel again, or to feel for the first time.

throughout this time, i have been keeping him alive in my mind. i have written that my heart is gone and after introspection, it really is gone. i do not feel anything anymore except my love for him and for my children. beyond that, i am empty. i still have no interest in even thinking about meeting a man. no one compares to my Dragon, and i am still too involved in my memories of my Dragon's lovemaking, in his way of giving me faith that i matter, in his way of letting me know how much he needed me, like i needed him. i am still too much in love with him. i had a terrible marriage, one where the pendulum swung from being ignored to being hurt. and then my Dragon came into my life and he gave me so much more than a marriage. he gave me a sacrament.

i love him. i miss him. i wish he could tell me what to do. i wish he could just whisper in my ear like before: "it's going to be all right."

but really, even after 20 months and 10 days, all i have to do is close my eyes. his voice comes to me and i can hear him. i keep my eyes closed and focus on his strength. i try to feel his belief in me. when i find it, when i can breathe it in, then i can get up and go on.

toward him.

"i love you
not only for what you are
but for what i am when i am with you.
i love you
not only for what you have made of yourself
but for what you are making of me.
i love you
for the part of me that you bring out;
i love you
for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
and passing over all the foolish, weak things
that you can't help
dimly seeing there,
and for drawing out into the light
all the beautiful belongings
that no one else had looked
quite far enough to find.
i love you
because you are helping me to make
of the lumber of my life
not a tavern
but a temple;
out of the works of my every day
not a reproach
but a song.
i love you
because you have done more than any creed
could have done
to make me good
and more than any fate could have done
to make me happy.
you have done it
without a touch,
without a word,
without a sign.
you have done it by being yourself.
perhaps that is what
being a friend {my lover, my husband} means
after all."
~ Roy Croft


Anonymous said...

Dear womanNshadows, my friend,

Whew! Am I glad to see you've written again. The last time we talked on the phone, well, I put in a call to see what I could do to kick the VA in the ass. I haven't lived in the US in a long time but who knows, an expat calling from the other side of Africa may make someone sit up and take notice. And you have to know if he were here, heads would be rolling all over DC or wherever the hell these people are.

I love what you've done with the place. Seriously, the background looks like you've been crying over blue paint. It's moody and yet it brings out your photography. I really like the new pictures of the Bun. I get the symbolism. As always your sewing takes my breath away. I've never seen such anything like it anywhere, not hand done like that.

He loves you. Hold on to that as tight as you can. He held onto the thought of you whenever he was "out of town" with me.

Semper Fi, Dear Lady.

Dan, in real time. said...

You have expressed yourself beautifully here. I know that sounds kind of odd, as you are speaking of you pain, and your loss, yet I do find so much love and beauty here at the same time. You have such a gift, and it is so clear how lucky Dragon was to have you in his life.

I hope more people will stop by your site to see the wonderful things you can create. The embroidery you share here is simply lovely. What a wonderful suprise for the little girl who is to receive this commissioned work.

For anyone who read this, S. creates such beautiful work. You will be amazed with the care and quality of her work. I know that I was.

Love to you.


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