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.

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.


thelmaz said...

My heart hurts for you. But of course he will be there waiting for you.

I often wonder, too, what Ralph thought while he was dying. What will I think when my turn comes? Will I be alone or will my children be there to hold my hand like I held his? I'm not sure Ralph will be there--we were different religions after all. I worry over this a lot.

Suddenwidow said...

I am holding you in my heart and praying for you. I know that your Dragon will be there waiting for you when it is your time. But I understand the worry. I have crazy thoughts sometimes like "What if reincarnation is real and Austin's soul is reincarnated before I die and I don't see him again?" I've actually researched this. But I'm coming to the conclusion that I just need to have faith and hold on tight to that because worrying about something that I have no control over and can never know about until I die was just sending me over the edge to a crazy place in my mind. I'm trying to go with faith. Easier said than done some days!

I have also spent a lot of time wondering about his death. Reflecting on things he said when his heart attack was starting, but we didn't know it yet, make my heart hurt. Then in the three hours that he was fighting to stay alive, I wonder what he was aware of, what he heard, what he knew etc. etc. etc. Was his spirit with us, out of his body, trying to stay alive? Ok, now I'm rambling. Sorry about that. I've never asked these questions out loud or written them down. They haunt me. I just wanted you to know that you aren't alone in your wondering.

I pray you find peace and sleep tonight.

Anonymous said...

I'm sharing these fears you describe, these tears. I wish it meant that each of us could feel less lonely, but the hole left behind by our lost loves is too great.

Boo said...

I totally believe that they will be there waiting for us. I loved the way Abby Carter described her talk with her husband (through a psychic). Even if you don't believe in psychics, I think you'd like the description of the afterlife.

Your dragon never let you down in this life, and he will not let you down in the next. I can't explain it S, I just know what I know x

womanNshadows said...

Thelma, Boo's words, her comment comforts. i hope you read it. if i don't see you back here, i'm going to email it to you.

Deb, faith is what i have, but alas, there are weak moments like last night. i did sleep well. i took a pill for the congestion that seems to linger a bit when it rains like it is these days. i felt the presence of ..... whom? Dragon? my guardian angel? i just felt a little more calm after writing. getting it out there instead of letting it fester inside me.

cancerwidow, though i hate that we share this fear, i hope for you, for us all, that we live with honor and grace and meet our loved ones the moment we close our eyes.

Boo, thank you for saying this. it comforts. he will not let me down. it is not in him to do that. he will find a way. thank you.

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

Suzann said...

Holding you so very close ----- sending love, light and care to you my dearest sister. xoxoxo

Pam said...

i think about things like this, too. M drowned in the river here in Omaha. he got out too far and his friend and i could not get out to him to help him. i watched him bob under two times, and i can explain the absolute terror of that moment, when i thought "oh my god, we can't help him."

sometimes i wonder what he was thinking. it makes me terribly sad to think that he might've been afraid, or that he was cold in the water, he was tired, he could see us but he couldn't come back. we could see him but couldn't get to him. i ate those thoughts but they're with me all the time. he was 6'5 and so very strong, but the river was stronger and his body let him down. i can't imagine that kind of fear. both of us in our childhoods had had two brushes with drowning, so i have a glimse of that fear, and i hate that he went through it.

i've also lost a lot of family members, and i think about them, too -- ones that died of illnesses; did they know what was happening? did they realise "this is it" -- what is that like?

i have images of him in my mind, i have to close my eyes and shake my head and think of other things. but there isn't much else to think about.

M was pretty warm, too -- he thought i was warmer, though, and he called me his "little space heater." he was so much taller than me, and my head fit in perfectly under his chin, and he'd toss his leg over my hip, and sleeping was never and has never again been as easy as it was with him.

jenni said...

My B died four months ago. Your words are mine...this is just too hard. I hate the night. Thank you for writing this...I feel as if I am going crazy with longing for heart hurts....

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