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, November 30, 2010

the Great Mobius Strip of Grief

my Internet went down on Sunday at 10 AM. right in the middle of my iChat with my son, our images froze onscreen. we finished our talk on the cells. technology is the double-edged sword of our lives. when it works it is wonderful. i can see my son who lives 8 hours away. when it turns on us, it is frustrating and even alienating. practically all of our contact is done online to even get to face-to-face. emails. tweets. texts. "meet me?" "can i come over?" i like to hear voices. i like to see faces. i do not have the money for a phone that is connected to the web like that. my cell is only for my children since we are all AT&T. $1 a day if i use it. no charge for talking to another AT&T cell. pay for what you use.

someone was going to call me Sunday. my magic jack plugs into the computer so with the Great 10AM Crash, i did not get the call. the repair man came at 7:30 last night and had to give me a new modem thingy that sits on the floor and blinks at me. so i am up.

i worked yesterday. i worked Saturday and Black Friday. i really like the job. the managers all say they like me and do not see any real reason why i would not be asked to stay on after the holidays. and then yesterday the 4th and final manager in line had her things to say. it made me apprehensive and between all of you and me, i do not need anymore stress and anxiety in my life.

she said, "before you i was the oldest but i told {the head manager} that it was okay."
i was not sure how to respond to that. then she got a little peeved that i was helping a customer and did not break away to answer the phone. "you can answer the phone, you know. here's what you say. i know you were with someone but you can answer the phone." she was idle. i had thought she would get the phone. with every customer i offer the sounds that can go into the toy. at the end of my shift she evaluated me and said, "you need to offer sounds." i told her i did to every customer. she ignored me and wrote it down as a critique. she asked how i liked working there. i told her i loved it and wanted to work hard to be able to stay beyond season. the other 3 managers had responded positively. she responded with, "well, you never know. i mean we may ask someone to stay on. we'll have to see how you work out."

my face felt hot. my head felt like it was going to explode. i simply smiled what i call a Mona Lisa smile. it was proper. it was in place. behind it was a mystery as to what i was truly feeling with her words ringing in my brain.

in this economy, knowing you are talking to a widow, knowing how hard things can be even for people who have a partner and two incomes, having your job threatened while you are a recent hire and still learning is cruel. cruel. mean. heartless. bullying.

then she turns it around and asks about my textile art and grief and the heritage behind my last name. "how do you pronounce it?" "what heritage?" i have no idea where i stand with this woman. i am on guard and on alert. i am also not on the schedule until Sunday. and then i only work 4 days that week. i need hours. hours. hours of work. but i am using this week to finish up the quilt that is due before Christmas.
Christmas is coming again,
without him
but this time i am wide awake.

i hear the bells, the songs,
without him
and at times my composure breaks.

i bought myself little star lights
without him
and i put them on my Dragon tree.

the tree he bought grew tall
without him
and the only one to decorate it is me.

i stood and cried by his tree
without him
i cried as i strung the lights.

Christmas is coming again
without him,
and nothing will ever feel right,
ever again....
without him.
i wish i could run to his arms and stay there. i want him to hold me and protect me, or at least spell me, from life's little cruelties. he was so great for letting me sit cuddled up to him and talk. he was so great for talking to me and easing my woes. he used humor. he used his ineffable {sacred} lightness that was part of who he was to comfort me. he surrounded me with his love.

i am facing the holidays and the start of the new year outside the fog of the first year and a half. the sleeping widow has woken up and she is crushed under the weight of reality. i want to go back into the fog and the numbness and bumble around. i do not want to think. i do not want to do anything but ............. i do not even know what i want to do anymore. i feel so overwhelmed with anxiety, panic, fears of one woman making me lose my job, not getting to keep the job, how long will my life without him be, a myriad of questions for which there is no answer, or no easy answer.

i really need him which is stupid funny because i need him because his death makes me need him more. i always needed him before simply because he made me so damn happy. yes, me happy. Bunny was happy once. but his death is so hard and i need him to help me get through it so it is a paradox of sorts. it is so simple a thought that is becomes complex; the Great Mobius Strip of Grief.

my Dragon and i were scrounging for shells and small pieces of driftwood along the beach one day when a man walked up, a tourist during the season. he introduced himself and said he was an early riser like we were and saw us out all the time and that we were always holding hands. my Dragon introduced us and referred to me as his "lovely bride." the man said jokingly, "So you love her as much as the day you married her, huh?"

and my Dragon said, "No." my Dragon looked at me and reached for my hand. he smiled enigmatically and said, "i love her more and more with each passing day. we're growing old together so our love is growing." then he looked back at the man and said, "that's how it is for us. every day. more and more."
and that's how it still is. even though his spirit has transcended to another place, i love him more and more. every day. more and more. Angel Bunny pining for her absent Dragon.


Boo said...

oh sweetie, she sounds like she is full of herself because she is a "manager", which means she is not a very good one. Let's hope that the other three have a majority vote ... they should have.

Yes, this Christmas is going to be so hard ... just as people begin to assume we should be over it. We will never be over it. How can they understand? They don't.

I hate feeling frightened. And you know what makes me most sad. That they would hate it more. They both worked so hard to ensure we were not.

I send you cyber hugs and light xx

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that someone has the power to cause you more pain. I am willing to bet that the people over her are aware of her personality and listen to the other managers. I am a little more than 2 years out and hate the uncertainty and fear that continues to linger. Wishing you peace and comfort. Sandy/Ct.

J-in-Wales said...

Your new moon picture just took my breath away with its beauty when I arrived here. I don't think I have ever seen such stunning and poignant moon.

I am glad you are enjoying your job. That is all you can do really - enjoy it and do it well, which I am sure you will.
I am sorry that there is someone there who is lessening your enjoyment of your work. As the other posters have said, it is almost certainly due to a flaw in her own personality, but it doesn't make it any the less unsettling to have to deal with it.
Just keep doing what you do - which is to work hard and be kind and supportive to the people around you. They will recognise it even though you do not shout your goodness to the rafters.

womanNshadows said...

Boo, Sandy/Ct. and J, thank you all for your kindness and belief in me. i love the children and i love the heart ceremony that i get to do when i stuff bears and bunnies. the other managers like me just fine. i should not let one girl get me down. i just get scared. but all of you are right. all i can do is my best and hope that my love for the job wins them over.

i love you all. thank you so much. peace and light.

womanNshadows said...

oh, and J, i am glad you like my moon. it was a series that night that i took. such beauty. it didn't last but i have about 20 different shots from that night. peace to you, and pickles.

Suzann said...

Darling Susan - I am sorry that b*tch was mean - Boo is right, she has "managers disease" and uses power to cover up her insecurities - it's crap.

I am sorry that I have been unable to connect - I will try and call later today or tomorrow. Love and hugs - you are never far from my thoughts -- golden light streaming your way.

thelmaz said...

The moon picture is breathtaking.

Keep believing in yourself. You deserve the job--the others see it. Hopefully, this one is just one voice among many others.

judemiller1 said...

I am so glad you like the job! Don't worry about the 1 manager--she is a bitter old person! I know how it makes you feel though--had to work with one like that for 5 years. Everyday at work, I feared might be my last the way she acted toward me.

What Dragon said to the man on the beach was beautiful. I don't know many men who would say something like that to a stranger. They might think it, but never verbalize it--beautiful.

Boo said...

I just remembered that I wanted to tell you how much I was affected by your photo of the moon. It is stunning. But nothing in comparison for your love for your Dragon and his for you xxx It truly is breathtaking S xxx

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