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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

burning photos

nothing really to say.
just one of those nights.
burning photos off the computer and being hit with the knowledge that there will never be anymore.
missing him.
the music says it all.
such a cutie

Carmen Sophia loved to help him drive.
he was my scavenger in places i was afraid to go.
you're still the one.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

finding a way home...

i don't know how to sleep anymore. i used to know. we'd say, "you ready?" and we'd get up and do things. i would set aside sewing or my book. we would walk the dogs one last time together, either silently enjoying the night air or speaking quietly to each other. but we held hands.

we would return and i would free the dogs from their leashes while he locked up and turned off lights. we would brush teeth, etc. and then get into bed. naked. we slept naked together. well, in the winter i wore socks but otherwise..... because he was warm-blooded. he was like a furnace. so hot. i love sleeping with him. his arm around me. my head on his shoulder, my hand on his chest. his heart beating so strong under my palm. thump thump thump. bliss. safe. loved.

and it has been ripped away. he was ripped from me. as if an ax has cut my body in two.
i have suffered the loss of my mother, father, grandparents, and a child. my baby son. 19 weeks old. such pain, different grief for each relationship. after the loss of my son, i changed. i was not the same woman. and i have changed again.

for each one of those deaths, i have to tell you, my experience only, i never felt the terror that i do with the death of my husband, my beloved Dragon.

the loneliness is terrible. the isolation is terrible. people can be so terrible to you. the lack of understanding what you feel. the lack of patience as you try to explain, is so terrible.
Elizabeth Taylor was visited by Debbie Reynolds shortly before she died. Reynolds said, "She expressed how scary it was when you see that it's perhaps the end, to find a way to leave this world and go onto the next."

i have been having terrible thoughts that i fight to smother. i get angry with myself and tell myself to stop it, don't do that to yourself, but it is the white elephant in the room.

while he was gasping, choking, while he was dying, did he know? what did he know? was he scared? could he hear me? was my talking to him, did that make it worse? hearing my voice fade from his consciousness as he passed into the next life, did that hurt his soul watching himself leave me behind?

there. i wrote it. and there is more but not now. not tonight.
life is hard without him, so very hard. more than financially hard, it is emotionally hard, spiritually hard. my soul sighs for him. my hands reach up to the dark ceiling above my bed and i cry out for him. i know he would not want me sad. he never wanted me to ever be sad, but i know him, i know his mind. i know his soul. he understands my grief. he understands the anguish i feel being here without him. he would feel the same if he were here without me. he told me once, "i would go into myself and wither without you. i would howl at the moon without you. i cannot be without you."

i am not home if i am not in his arms. what is it like for him being without me on the other side?
blinding, naked, raw grief. that's where i am. two years, one month. i struggle to smile anymore. the "work smile" is easy because it is my job and above all else, i will do my job. but i walk out of the store and my smile disappears as if it had never been there. i see myself in the mirror and i look 1000 years old. my eyes look haunted by the longing i have for my husband. my beautiful, warm Dragon.

we all have to find our way through grief. i am finding my way by not finding my way. i cleave to his memory like a diver grips the anchor line when he finds it. each day right now brings with it the desolation of a life without him.

my fear is that when i die, when it is my turn to find a way to leave this world and go into the next, he will not be there waiting. somehow i will get lost again, like i am lost now. i want to be able to find my way home, into his waiting arms.
i just don't know if i know the way.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bunny's map of the Ambassador's Travels

okay, Beach Bunny is very much into this tour now. the Traveling Ambassador has been gone since February 4th. her Grief and Whimsy World Tour is really getting cranked up now.

Bunny went out today, {it's her day off} and she bought a world map for the kitchen wall. the green string is where the Ambassador has been or is. the white string is where is going.
she started from Charlotte, NC and went to Saskatchewan, Canada, then on over to London.
from London, she is headed to Wales ~ note the white push pin. Bunny leaves tomorrow, Friday, for Wales. once i get the email that she has arrived in Wales, the pin changes to green.
from Wales it's Down Under to Queensland, Australia then......
up to Alaska. now Bunny sees that the string she strung has gone the long way to Alaska. she knows that the quickest way to Alaska is straight up the Pacific Ocean, but the map cuts off, and Bunny is very particular about her string.

so, Alaska and then all around the lower 48.
Alaska to Arizona, to Houston, Texas, to Portland, Maine, to South Carolina, to California, to Chicago, to St. Paul, and then home to us. me and Beach Bunny. well, to me.

as Bunny makes her way around the world, the white changes to green pins and string and i will post her map updates for all to see here.

i can hardly wait to see what all she has written in her journal. i can hardly wait to gather more photos for our mixbook.

Boo knows of other widows that would like a visit with Bunny. i am considering making another Bun and embroidering her t-shirt and jeans to send her off on a tour of her own. if you know of any widows who would like a visit from Bunny, please have them email me at: Boo and i are putting together another list for a separate tour. this Bunny's tour is closed as i have little gifts accompanying her and am sending more to Australia for the new widows added recently to her list of travels.

thank you all so much for you support of this. i wish you all peace and light. and Bunny just smiles her soft, fuzzy smile and waves.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the Traveling Ambassador of Grief and Whimsey update

i've been asked about the Traveling Ambassador. she's obviously having a great time in her travels. she has been much needed, too, and that makes her feel so good.

she's been to Canada to visit with Suddenwidow. she got to see snow
and wished she had packed her Uggs.
she called when she got to London to see Boo.
and if you know Boo, and have her as a Facebook pal, she and Bunny have been sharing
quite a few adventures.
Bunny has been asked to visit three other women and she has excitedly said, "of course!"

here is the schedule as it stands now.

after Boo, Bunny heads to J-in-Wales.
then Down Under to see Widow in Oz.
up to Anchorage, Alaska to see a very young widow ~ El & I
then over to see FlyingWG in Arizona
on to Texas to see 3 women ~ M, then T, then R.
up to Portland, Maine.

then this is where i am not sure...i am waiting to see where two of our new ladies have been inked in.

i think Bunny travels to South Carolina, then back over to California, hippity hop to Chicago, and then i know our last hostess is in St. Paul, Minnesota to see Journey to a New Life.

then she comes back to me.

please remember to email me when you get her and when you mail her to the next person. please, either upload your photos of Bunny to your Facebook page and i can download from there, or email them to me at: so i can put together our Mixbook for all to see.

i am working on a map thingy to show Bunny's flight and dates. gonna pick one up tomorrow and do the push pin thingy with my own home girl who stays with me, Beach Bunny. i think that would be cool. dates. string. Bun loves the idea. very interactive for her.

thank you all for keeping up with her. thank you all for joining me in this whimsical yet poignant world tour of hers. i wish us all peace and light.

"...what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."

i read other blogs, blogs that have nothing to do with grief. i found this one and i cried. the tears were from the emotion of seeing what this young man did.

please go here and look at the photos. i looked this story up and the little dog was swept off the pier by gale force winds. this was down in Australia. the young man who jumped in to say the dog, Bibi, was on the pier with family dispensing his grandmother's ashes.

and here is my hero doing something no one saw but me, and the old lady.

we are all heroes. we have all done something that speaks to our character, to the person our husbands and wives fell in love with. this is one small part of my Dragon.

i know my Marlene Dietrich friends are my heroes. i know my children are as well. i hope i am to someone. i try to be everyday when i look into the eyes of the people i perform the heart ceremony for at work, and with every stitch i take while i sew for someone else. i am not saving the world. i am not even saving a small dog. but i hope i am saving something inside someone.

that's what i'd like to bring to my Dragon when i meet him again after i die. i want to tell him i did a very small something for the world. Bunny wants to, too. that's why she's on her world tour.

i wish peace and light to all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"turn on the light" or Bunny makes a short independent film

Bunny made a little film. it is short. it is startling. it is not for the faint of heart. but sometimes on a widow's journey, people need to be startled. they need to be drawn up short. they need to understand how dark it can get. how lonely. how frightened a widow can become with all her worries and all her wonder about her husband.

so this little film is one that Bunny made. what an actress! wow, Bunny can be very dramatic. love what she did with the lighting, and getting the camera to focus close up on her fuzzy little face there at the last second before the scream. love it. love it all. Bunny did a great job. okay, maybe she got a little carried away but when the creative juices are flowing, there is no telling what can come up.

Bunny has been so very tired lately. she is doing so well at work but she gets scared. work hours are performance based. they have some new hires, all young people, and Bunny is being the best little Bunny bear associate she can be. she says "yes, yes, yes" to everything. she needs the hours she has, if not more. she got a 25 cent an hour raise. 25 whole cents an hour.

ah, the world of retail. where you give your all and get the pat on the back with a quarter more an hour. *sigh*

i do not know what i wish anymore. i know my Dragon is in a better place. he has to be happy where he is. it is what i pray for countless times a day. just a quick, "let him be in Heaven."

me? the Bun? definitely Purgatory. i miss him fiercely. i miss the way he smelled. i miss his voice. i miss his hands reaching for mine, or for some other body part of mine. i need his counsel. i need his eyes looking into mine with his wild love and solemn promise that he won't leave me here.

having said that, scroll up and hit replay on the little film that Bunny made. it's dark here where i am. not outside. inside. i feel dark inside. i am on the down turn of this roller coaster right now. i know there will be an upswing, but for now, my art of grief is dark. as are my thoughts. as is my mood.

someone please, "turn on the light."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

supermoon for Dragon

it is the night of the full moon again, but this time it is the supermoon. it will be closer to the Earth than it has in 19 years. i am back from work. i see clouds moving in so i do not know if i will be allowed to see it.

that is why i am so glad i planned ahead. up early. before sunrise, still the 19th, this morning at 6 AM. the moon.
but still i wait for it tonight. still i will hope that i can see it.

i am despondent of late. i am melancholy and quietly suffering. i miss him. like everyone else on this path of widow(er)hood, i am suffering. i love him so and miss him with all my life and breath.

i work and come back here. i still seldom call the apartment home though it is becoming more so as i get more and more tired.

i got good news. i am the associate at work given the most hours. being given hours is based on performance, and i perform. no one would ever know that my soul is dying on the vine. no one knows i am grieving, that i am sighing inside, that i welcome going back to the apartment and to my constant, furry companions and yet i dread walking inside to this empty place, living this empty life.

i think i am going through a bout of depression. but i will not medicate myself through it. i do not want chemical happiness. i just want to keep going.

i wish he were here. i wish i knew if he remembers me, worries about me, but then it really isn't for us to know. i think we are not meant to know otherwise our choices here would be vastly different. for example, i might just sit down and wait for him to come to me, and never lift my head again.

that sounds terribly sad. no worries. i am simply very sad tonight. exhausted. still living under the humidifier. i cannot turn it off yet. i still need it. and that scares me a little.
i think i will just lay down tonight and wait for my Dragon to come. i will cry a lot tonight, which sucks because it will make me more congested. c'est la vie. my "vie." but i will allow myself to give in to this sullen moon. i will hope the clouds part for a moment so i can see the "supermoon." i will lay down and give up and give in ...... at least for tonight.

"come to me in my dreams and then by day i shall be well again. for the night will more than pay the hopeless longing of the day." ~ W. Shakespeare

Monday, March 14, 2011

gifties in the mail

i got a box in the mail. in it were a couple of gifties and a card with more gift card gifties. at first i was a little lost. no name. just a card that said i have a secret pal. i have no idea but you know where i live and that narrows it down. whoever you are, i am grateful, thankful, and without any other words to mark this wonderful thing you have done, all i have left is: thank you.

thank you, thank you, thank you.

you have no idea how wonderful and how perfectly timed this gift has come.

or maybe you do.

{Bunny turns her fuzzy little head to wipe away a stray tear of gratitude and relief.}

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

unfocused mind / fractured thoughts

they are calling it the "supermoon." the full moon of March 19th, 2011, will be closest to the Earth in 19 years ~ only 221,567 miles. i hope it isn't cloudy. i hope i do not have to work until 10 PM and miss it's rising, when it will really look huge due to the atmosphere being denser closer to the horizon.

i keep adding to my Great Sparkly Moon Book. i am trying to find the time to put it up on mixbook with some of my writing. trying to find the time.

stuff has been going on. spats in the widow world on my end, local stuff. stupid stuff. me caught in the middle as the mediator, or the voice of reason, which is funny since all i want to do is smack everyone, tell them to shut up and go away. husbands have died and you're bickering? seriously? for the love of Pete. worse things have happened to you than this petty crap. remember?

i think i'm still treading water. i am just drifting along in my life like i was when he first died. i look to everyone here for contact. i look to everyone who will be letting Bunny visit for my laughter and smiles. Boo has been cracking me up with her and Bunny's antics. loving it. i need the laughter.

my daughter is working things out with her "problem child." she can crack the whip like i've never seen, like i cannot. it takes a lot for me to snarl.

i am thinking of quitting going to see the grief counselor. i cannot connect to her. i just can't. so many missed appointments, and when i go, she just does not seem to really care. i have heard others speak about their counselors and there is a bond there. i know of a woman whom i wish had been my counselor but it is impossible i think. i do work for her for free and it defines the relationship. her ~ "please do this." me ~ "of course." her from a position of power. me ~ worker bee.

i told this other woman, the woman who bartered the deal with me ~ quilt for sessions ~ i told her something that has defined my life. i told her something terrible that had happened to me when i was a very small girl, but it was something that i can recall as if it had happened yesterday. i know where i was, where my mother was, what we were wearing, the sounds in the room, the exact time of day, and i know what it did to me. i know how it changed me and crippled me in a way that, after 49 years, is irreversible.

no one ever knew this had happened to me until i told my Dragon. it is nothing that affects anyone but me. it does not interfere in work, relationships, only how i feel about myself and what i think about myself. only my Dragon had ever known. he held me and cried for me.

then i told the counselor at the widow's retreat in November. it felt good to know that someone else in the world knew about this. with my Dragon gone, i had felt so alone. she reacted like i had hoped she would. it felt good. but then she is not my grief counselor so the ability to really delve into it ended with the end of the retreat that Sunday evening.

so i told my grief counselor. she was very unemotional about it. but then i am not really a patient. i am not really her client. i am in a barter relationship. i get to talk. she gets a quilt. i have worked so very hard on her quilt. if i do say so, it is gorgeous. the talks? so many cancelled due to holidays and her going away and ice. and my taking two of them to take care of getting tags for my car and to take care of my daughter. then she flat out forgot me that one time. her apology was, "people forget stuff sometimes." that stuff was me. her associate in the office thought it was extremely odd, not like her. it was, she said, "very out of the ordinary. she has never forgotten a client."

i have not seen her since she forgot me. she had to cancel another appointment.

i do not think it will be bad for me to just slip away. i do not think she really cares all that much. she's waiting on her quilt and she knows i will honor my word. i think i can just ease away from her and she won't really even notice as long as she gets the quilt.

i miss my Dragon. i miss evenings like this with the rain falling and a cool breeze coming through the screen of the open window. we would talk. or read. his presence in the room was always comfortable. he was warm. very warm body. sometimes i would play with his beard while he read. he'd smile and try to focus on the book.

i was just always so fascinated with him. he was so handsome. he smelled so good. he never got put out or tired of me just touching him. like i was blind and he was my braille book. just touching him.

did i mention this month has the 'supermoon?' i hope it isn't cloudy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

referenced from Not Even A Wren's site......

the song from youtube is posted on Megan's Not Even A Wren site. it hit me in the stomach, the lyrics. i love this so very much and needed to hear this song. thank you so much, Megan.

Love Is Our Cross to Bear ~ John Gorka

I didn't know where to look for you last night
I didn't know where to find you
I didn't know how I could touch that light
That's always gathering behind you

I didn't know that I would find a way
To find you in the morning
But love can pull you out of yesterday
As it takes you without warning

I want to be a long time friend to you
I want to be a long time known
Not one of your memory's used-to-bes
A summer's fading song

It's from me, it's to you
For your eyes
It's a weight, a wonder that is wise
I am here, you are there
Love is our cross to bear

I know I'll think of us upon that hill
With the golden moon arising
And the stars will fall around us still
While the love is realizing

And so it is until we meet again
And I throw my arms around you
You can count the gray hairs in my head
I'll still be thankful that I found you

Saturday, March 5, 2011

two dog night

i had a long day at work. several children's parties to do/perform for, whatever it is called. i was the head party person all perky and happy. i kept all the children entertained and happy. more importantly, i kept the parents all happy.

i am wiped out.

i am driving back to the apartment and i think, "i'll surprise my dogs and quickly step in to take a picture."

i walk in the door and see this.
Carmen Sophia wasn't asleep. i had stepped in and she did not turn her head towards me. i heard her sigh. do dogs sigh? it sounded like she did. then she got up and came over, all happy to see me. her little yips and cries were so heartbreaking because i know she missed me. 10 hours is a long day for them.

i sat down to eat my supper, a bowl of Cheerios, and answer a couple of emails, to check in with my daughter, and i got hit in the soul with a photo on my background.

this one.
i could not eat my cereal. i got choked up and started to cry.

i miss him. i miss our walks. i miss the snow. i know, crazy to miss that cold, deep, wet mess, but when you walked like we did together, the sudden cessation of doing that carves the sorrow of not getting to do that anymore into your soul.
we walked, obviously, in any weather. Carmen and Scootie loved walking. they are such curious little dogs. so funny.

i miss getting soaking wet and cold. i miss his having a small flask of hot chocolate in his pocket in case my bout with hypothermia reared its ugly head. {i was told that having had that happen exacerbates the pneumonia. if i get cold, blam. my lungs react badly.} my Dragon would let me walk in the snow, but he kept watch on our time and took care of me. it wasn't so much the snow as warming up afterwards, or rather, his technique for warming me up.

*sigh* i miss him terribly.

having Carmen and Scootie with me as my constant companions has been a great comfort and blessing to me. they are so crazy. so cute. such a little team.
but i think they miss him. maybe it's exhaustion making my mind take a fanciful turn. after all, i'm the one who sent a stuffed bunny, the Traveling Ambassador of Grief and Whimsy, on a road trip around the world.

but then again, i believe in little tiny miracles. like a Dragon finding a woman deep in the shadows; like a Dragon loving a woman as scarred as i am. little miracles.

like believing that a little dog can miss her master, and that maybe she really did sigh.

a storm is coming. heavy rain. it's going to be a two dog night. then again, it's always a two dog night at my place.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Marlene Dietrich friends

"it's the friends that you can call at 4 AM that matter."

Bunny has woken up and smelled the coffee, though she is a green tea drinker. Bunny has friends. all her lamenting not having a friend to come over and talk to her. all her moaning that she does not feel comfortable calling anyone at 4 AM, she solemnly raises her hand and admits she was wrong.Bunny has friends. they just do not live here in town. not a problem. phones and emails. Bunny has her little tribe that has hung with her for the last 2 years. Suzann, Deb, Boo, Dan, Thelma, SSSF (do not count the bunnies up in the photo and compare. those are just all the bunnies i have.} thank you for hanging in there with the Bun/me. she/me loves you all.

we need to all plan to meet at the beach somewhere, somewhere warm that has drinks with umbrellas. we need some together time in the sun laughing and communing. Bunny has a new bikini. oh, don't gag. she has a new bikini. not me.
Bunny talked to one of her Marlene Dietrich friends yesterday. so nice. she hung up knowing she has a sister out there who will answer the phone at 4. she would jump on a plane and come to her if she needed her. {the plane thing? that would be life and death. Bunny does not abuse friendships.}

clap clap. Bunny has friends. she apologizes that it has taken her so long to realize that distance does not matter. you cannot pick your family, but you can pick your friends. you cannot pick where they live, but that does not matter.

love, light, peace, and the awareness that you are all so much and so humbly appreciated.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

the walking dead

i feel like the walking dead. i am drained. too much bad. so little good that happens. something terrible happened today. i could see the signs of this coming, like "red sky at morning."i am in tears, sobbing. i wish i could talk about it to you, to someone, but at this moment it is still so very private. it is only a phone call kind of conversation, or face-to-face.

i feel caved in. i feel sick. i feel dead inside when i think of life. i am too tired of living. there has to be a time for me during this life when all things are okay. i do not need magnificent. joy is so far away as to be unreachable. i just want "okay."

i need him back. i really need him here right now. this is something he can do. this is something he can make right. but when i look up, he is still gone, still dead, still never coming back to help me, to stand with me, to be here with me.
me and my daughter need him so bad. we need our Dragon.

please, please, can you hear me calling you? i need you. she needs you.
where are you? help me. please, help me. i am so tired. i can't sleep anymore. i need you. life has handed me so much more than i think i can take.


update: i just called her and her voice sounds strong. she is a strong woman. even though Dragon was not her biological father, she has so much of him inside her, so much of his strength and spirit. she is his daughter in her soul. God, i love them both so much. i love my son and daughter and my beloved Dragon. please take care of us. please help us get through this. and please, above all, don't let anything bad happen to her. keep her safe.

last update for tonight: she just called. her friends came and got her. she is going to stay with them in their guest room for a few nights. she is safe. her voice is strong and determined. most of all, she is safe. friends and mothers. sometimes that is enough to keep the monster away so a girl can get some rest and breathe.