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, January 29, 2011

countdown to 2

"you really care how it's going with me?"

"sure. i make my face look like this and concerned words come out."

that's what it feels like sometimes.

i am way past one year. past 18 months. i am 11 days shy of it being 2 years since my Dragon died suddenly. 2 years. and where am i? some days are okay. i make things for people and i work at Build-A-Bear. so far *knock wood* i make my bills. my son and daughter bought me a car that i am getting the tags and plates and inspection done next Tuesday. i smile at people. i jump through all the hoops i am supposed to. i still cry everyday but not even my daughter knows i do that. i have iron control over it, much like i used to when i was a child and my mother disciplined me, or when i was older and Voldemort got mad. i could always control it and then let my guard down when i was alone. but what have i done? digressed? simply gotten back to an old habit? i do not cry at work. never. i have been close but i stop myself, and i manage to wait until i get back to the apartment and cry here.
but then i have bad days. really bad days. if they happen on a work day, i suppress and suppress and then go back to the apartment and sob. i miss him. i still do. very, very much.
i do not know where i am on the Seven Choices, or the 12 Steps, or the 5 Stages. no clue. i just know that i do what is expected of me. i do what is asked of me. i have stood up for myself a few times lately. i have said, "no, i cannot do that." but i feel so different. i feel like i am only half here. i look at the moon so much. i know what phase it is in, waning or waxing, the day it will be 100% and what the cloud cover is expected to be.
my moon collection is quite impressive now. devastatingly impressive. i dream of him quite a lot. i have had no feeling that he is near. i do not know if my mind is trying to hold me back or if i eat entirely too much chicken and not enough vegetables. am i a failure or am i just dragging my feet on the 'ole grief timeline because of all the financial pressures and failure to be anyone's friend. i am working on it but i hesitate to be too forward. i have been burned so many times.

i have no history here. i am only someone who grieves and is very poor. i can sew like nobody's business and it does attract people to me, but then i open my mouth and ..........

i have no idea what he saw in me. he loved to have conversations. he would prod my brain. we'd discuss. we'd debate. he was such an intellectual person to be so earthy and passionate. both sides of his brain worked in tandem. very smart man. street smart. mad skills. sexy. so handsome. kind. funny. the whole package.

i wonder if he knows how much i cry for him, mourn him, think of him, dream of him, pine for him? i am beginning to think that nothing will help ease the sorrow but time. talking is nice but my grief is the same. working is wonderful but i am still sad. taking charge of my life and getting out from under Voldemort has been freeing but i still miss my Dragon. i miss him to the point where i am not one of those widows who redefines her life after her husband's death as a big second chance. maybe i am too old. maybe i have gone through too much. i was world-weary when i met my Dragon. i thought, "ah, here is life giving me my turn at love and companionship. i guess it is true. sometimes life saves the best until last." and then he died, and i am bereft.

i do things to amuse myself. i have Bunny. i made her some gloves and embroidered her jeans as you can see in the first photo in this post above. i created the Traveling Bunny, Ambassador of Grief and Whimsy so that everyone can have a turn with her, talking to her, writing in her journal. it seemed like a good idea and a lot of people are excited about her coming.

but i am looking down the barrel of the 2nd anniversary and the Valentine's Day funeral anniversary. i work those days and that is fine. i can do it. Spartan control over my emotions while i am at work. but i know i will cry. i know what i get back to the apartment, the numbness will wear off and i will feel his absence.
i am trying to find that balance, take those steps, get through those phases, and make those choices that will show i am growing as a person. people will look at me and say, "ah, she is getting better. she is conquering her grief. she is {dare i type it?} 'making something positive' out of her husband's death."

i cannot focus on any of it for too long. all the steps or phases or choices, they all seem like great theories or suggestions but i cannot get my mind around any one of them. all i want to do is try and redefine the word "home." the apartment is where i live and have lived for almost 2 years yet i cannot feel like it is home. but it is, isn't it? my stuff is here, or some of it. i need to redefine the word "home" and feel it on an emotional level.

i need to get over not being able to save him. i tried and failed. it's cruel to the both of us but that's how it played out. he needed me and i failed. i didn't want him to go, and i failed. but i guess he is at peace now and doesn't give a rat's ass anymore. all i can ever hope now is that he knows how hard i tried. he knows i still love him and am honoring his memory by telling all the cool stuff about him and ignoring the tidbits like he balled his socks and tossed them on the floor, or that he......

seriously there was very little about him or anything that he did that annoyed me. he was freakin' perfect. not annoyingly perfect, but heavy sigh, rapid heartbeat, big smile perfect. he was mine.

i am still, even now, discovering things about him, aspects of the life that we shared, that make me miss his presence. i have irrevocably lost the only person who ever took the time to know me, and who, after he did, still found something about me to love. he would go to bed with his arm around me, our legs intertwined, and then wake up and still smile at me. he chose me. he chose to be with me every day. i didn't annoy him. he never asked anything of me but to love him and share his life.

and my God we did that. i love him and i shared his life. and now, i guess i am sharing his memory.

am i better now than i was a year ago? maybe, i guess, but no, i don't really think so. i think i am a little bit the same. i just control it better. i am more accustomed to missing him. where that puts me on a grief timeline somewhere, i have no idea. and i am not checking right now. right now i am on the countdown to 2 years. it was a rough Christmas and bad New Year's. my birthday sucked big time and i am already getting teary over the 2 year milestone. so i am focusing on keeping control of my public emotions. while i am at work, i give 110% so that i do my job well and keep my managers liking me.

but on the inside, i am still that shellshocked woman sitting by her dead husband feeling the room slowly grow cooler as she listens to the sound of Dragon's wings grows fainter and fainter.


Sandy said...

Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. There is no timeline for "moving on" and their is no 12 step grief program. It is your loss and your grief. Take your time.

J-in-Wales said...

Of course you will cry. Of course you will miss him forever. I don't know if the guilt at not being able to save him ever fades - mine shows no sign of doing so. It still haunts me every day.
I think that all this 'grieving process' does is allow you to learn better strategies for coping with the loss. It will never be OK that he died. Not ever.

judemiller1 said...

I don't think there is any time limit on how long a person grieves. I have known one woman who, the day after the funeral, cleaned everything of his out of the house and never cried or rarely spoke of him. I know another who just couldn't get past it--it felt like the "first day" every day for years. Yet both of these women went on to have fruitful, fulfilled lives, so who knows? Anniversaries are just hard, that's all--of course you are going to cry--you have every right too.

Anonymous said...

I agree with will never be ok that he died and all those of us in similar circumstances can hope is to cope well enough to get through another day. Some people do seem to be able to socialize, date and even remarry fairly quickly and that's fine for them...I cannot even begin to imagine that, nor do I have any desire to. However you feel is nothing to apologize for...the world may expect us to recover all the same way in a few easy steps but reality is quite different just as we all are different. Personally, I hate the smiles that I don't feel and the small talk I could care less about, but it's there every time I leave my house. I'm coming up on 17 months now. I often think of you and will continue to pray for you during this time.

womanNshadows said...

thank you all so very much. i am not sure why we really "wait" for these anniversaries when the days preceding them and following them are just as difficult. it does help to write it all out and know that there are others who feel the same way.

i wish you all peace.

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