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.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

stripped down to the soul

announcement: for those who wish to see what i look like, look closely at Bunny's shades. you will see me with the camera in front of my face in her lens. presently Bunny is hiding from reality by wearing my sunglasses in the house, at work, everywhere, because, yes, there is so much pain her dazzled eyes refuse to see.

i worked last Monday. i am going in today. in between i have been alone here quilting and thinking and writing in my head. i have an old tape recorder from another era that i use when i sew to record thoughts for my writing. it makes me feel like i am multi-tasking but it is not something i would put on the resume. i think it would make me seem a little too eccentric.

but during these 4 days of being alone again here i performed another self-evaluation. i have always been brutally honest with myself; like quite a few people i have met in my life have also been.

stripped to the soul....
without pretty little costumes of Christmas Elf or Christmas Angel.....

naked before myself i can see that i am damaged.
i hurt all the time, physically and emotionally. i have flashbacks to other times when i was helpless; times i had thought were locked away. they were forgotten, or did not matter, when my Dragon held me, smiled at me, made me laugh, and loved me. nothing mattered beyond us two but my children. our children. now that he has died, i find that all my time spent alone allows my demons to dance around my mind. my soul cries out for relief from these hauntings but there is no break unless i gather the strength to curse myself for my weakness. then i try to take control and smash them down.

it is like the old feminist joke: how do you keep a man from drowning? take your foot off his head. i am standing on my memories of past horrors, but i can feel it all writhing gleefully underneath my feet. it knows that even though i am stomping on it, i know it is there. i remember each cruelty and injustice, each night and day of the terrible things that happened to me and only my Dragon can make them go away.

why is it that it comes back now? why, now that the fog of the first year has lifted that all these old woes are clawing at me, trying to pull me down? i have fought for my existence all my life. from my mother to him, through pain and fear, and now through the loss of my Dragon and the only love i will ever know, i have fought to be allowed to breathe. all i wanted was him. all i will ever want is him. and he died. and yet, i have not been angry about it. maybe i am a late bloomer when it comes to grief, but i have not been angry at him or at God.

i feel nothing inside most of the time, except fear and worry and intense grief. i love the job and i want to keep it. i want more hours so that i can make enough money to exist, but beyond that, maybe there is some other reason to still be here. a widow friend called me earlier this week. i told her i sometimes wonder when it will be my turn to get off this ride. i said it in a moment of wondering what reason there is for me to still be breathing.

during times when i was being struck or screamed at, i often talked to myself through it to help myself get through it, and i would ask myself, "why are you here if this is all there is?" but then i had my daughter and son. and i believe i was here for my Dragon. i am also here for my dogs.

what kind of life would they have had without me? they would have been split up, that's for sure. we are a little tribe, the three of us. Mr. Scootie Wootums, Lord of the Dance with the Stardust Eyes and Miss Carmen Sophia, the Wild Gypsy Girl with the Sensitive Soul. both of them comfort me and stay with me. i cry, they cling. i laugh, they prance. we walk and talk to the moon. they keep vigil with me so that i am not alone. and i hold them and cuddle with them, we sleep together in a pile on the bed alone ~ alone without our Dragon ~ so i know they love me and need me. they dance so when i get back from work.
but beyond all of that, i do still wonder why i am here. what purpose have i served or do i serve? i make Memory Quilts for people. a few people like my writing and write to me that what i say and the way i say it has been good for them. but the other side of that coin, the negative stuff ~ does it outweigh any positive contributions i might make? there are people, widows, too, who did not make a connection to me. i was not good enough. when i tally the people from my life, only my children and my Dragon really loved me, like really thought i was pretty cool. ah, well, 3 out of what, a million people can't be wrong. <~~ black humor.

stripped down to my soul, cards on the table, in total honesty, i feel awful. have i made progress in my grief? maybe my writing has improved but i do not feel better. i work. i try to survive. i fight to be allowed to be here. only God and/or my aging body have the right to take me out. no one else. if i am breathing, i have the right to do so, right? no hitting. no pinching. no telling me i do not belong or should not be here.

i am doing the best i can. when i was small and first read the Hippocratic Oath, i thought, that's a great idea. and i always liked the Golden Rule. i thought more people should follow both of those whether they were doctors or held onto a belief system or not. i thought mothers and husbands should especially be made to adhere to those two ideals or they should not be allowed to have children or get married. both are just nice things to do and be. "first, do no harm." "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." no one would get beaten or screamed at if everyone honored those two ideals. i personally think my life would have been better.

but alas, few step out of the moment to think about such things. reaching out to hurt someone first or worse seems to be the norm and i do not do confrontations for the sake of sounding right. you yell. i yell. you scream. i scream. we should all scream for ice cream. that kind of fighting never solved anything. i'm right. no, i'm right. QUIET! nobody's right if everybody fights. and no one lives if they are crushed under egos and pettiness. we only exist and there is such beauty in this Great Waiting Room Before the Hereafter. the leaves on the ground when it starts to sleet. Boo's dogs in the snow. my dogs on the sofa. a sailboat on the horizon. a shell on the beach. a child waiting for a bear to get stuffed. the "heart ceremony" i get to do. so much to live for here while we wait to be with those we adore.

stripped down to my naked soul, all i want is to, if i wake up, get up and get to work in whatever form it is scheduled to take that day. i want to be able to pay my bills and eat. i do not need anything beyond that. i already had it all and had to watch it be taken away. {great. now i am crying before work. gotta go wash my face.}
but since i am no longer allowed to have my Dragon, there really is not much else out there for me.

peace to all who read. peace and light to all who grieve.

4 comments:

Boo said...

I think it is natural for you to feel those old demons again, for your protector is gone in a physical sense.

I wish I could somehow fly round the world five times backwards, like Superman did, to un-do the hurt that you suffered through cruel people and words. I think you are too good for them and they are jealous of the love you have with your Dragon. It is astonishing that widows would be nasty to you though. Truly disgusting. You have goodness in your heart. Yet they have learned nothing, NOTHING from their own husbands dying. That is tragic. At least we have learned from this awful loss.

Like you I have not felt anger at my love or the universe even ... well I did once, very briefly, a micro-second, and I still feel guilty for doing so. How can I be angry at someone who would have died for me? How can you either?

We were so lucky to have them, and I don't care what anyone says, I'm sure it makes them harder to miss and to lose.

They were indeed all we ever wanted and desired and needed. To lose your world and remain breathing, building bears, walking dogs in the snow or the crunching leaves ... in my humble opinion makes us heroic and brave. Whether we feel it or not.

Please don't search for fault within yourself S - you won't find it there. It is their issue, NOT yours. Otherwise you would never have had the Dragon as your very own. He was special and magical ... I know this just as I know that I breathe air ... and only someone who has not a bad bone in her body would have been allowed that love. Had it reciprocated. Known the magic.

I wish I could take away your hurt. But wishes are "jack" ... without them here, the magic seems to cease working ... 99.9% of the time at least.

I send you light and love and hugs. I send you love most of all to combat the horridness of some people that can make us lose our faith in humanity.

But know this, they may think they know it all, they don't. For they never knew magic.

That is yours alone to keep in your heart.

xxxx

womanNshadows said...

Boo, yes, you are right. they were all we ever wanted, needed, dreamed about, and wished for. one thing you may be wrong about.

there is no magic inside me. there is only my longing for him. i look into the eyes of everyone who comes into the store and wonder if they are masking pain. i look at the children and wonder at their lives. do they hurt as i did as a child? are they on their best behavior so they won't get "punished?" and i try to make their time there, for those brief moments that i am with them, safe. i try to make them feel secure.

when i hand them their bear or bunny or kitty or whichever animal they have chosen, i tell them that they now have a loyal best friend who loves them. if i ever had magic in me it is now gone with him. i only have compassion left to give to others. i try to ease or postpone any worry or sorrow they may feel with my smiles and the moment of magic that can come from the wish on a heart that goes into the stuffed animal.

i wish you peace.

Boo said...

oh that makes my heart cry. All I can say is that you have known magic and real real love. You know it exists.

I believe you completely when you say that the magic went with him, because I know that my soul and heart went with C.

Love and light, and magic needles (at least that remains) to give compassion to others who feel pain, and children who know their friends have a heart and are magic. Bless you for having lost it, yet finding enough compassion in your heart to not deny it to others. That is a huge gift that you give xx

Suddenwidow said...

I have no words of wisdom but just know that you are in my prayers. I wish you peace.

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