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, May 22, 2011

life now & some people leave, some people stay

life now.....

there are a lot of times when i wonder what i’m doing here. it sometimes seems ridiculous to be alive when he is gone. i have raised my children. i was here for him. i eased his soul. i hope that doesn’t sound arrogant, because the last thing i am is arrogant. in fact, i am so not arrogant that i almost don’t exist with regards to self-worth. it is something i am told i need to work on and yet; is it possible that low self-esteem may be my gift to the world? it is something i have had {suffered from?} all my life. very little in my life has been a catalyst for me to change my opinion of myself.

i am proud of Bunny though, and what she brings to the world.

i wish he were here to talk to, to listen to his voice. he was gentle with me, and kind, so very kind. i have always known, since i was very small, that gentleness and kindness are mutually exclusive. a gentle voice can express threats and dispense crushing verbal abuse, while kindness is seldom misunderstood. i wish my Carl were here to talk to me. i always told him that even though the world could not know what he did for it, to help the cause of freedom for us and others, the world still felt the ripples of his patriotism. me? i have always lived in the shadows. i cling to the walls. i have done a few good things but nothing like him. nothing that warrants me still living while he has died, unless, it is because he deserves his rest. he deserves his own personal freedom from the pains his body felt while i am being punished further for my sins by being forced to live without him. i try to think of it that way. i know, but surprisingly, for me, it helps ease the sorrow a little bit.

i think i can anticipate some thoughts from those who know me a bit. i know you are going to mention the “heart ceremonies” i do at work, plus my idea for the Ambassador, all her thoughtful and soulful work of coming to personally meet each of you who wanted her. there are a couple of things right there that should be important, and they are, within reason. but how many falling stars, that you’ve seen, can you remember? there was the initial “ooo ahhh” but then the star fell beyond the horizon and was gone. out of sight, out of mind. you can sit there and read this and say, “but i’ve seen falling stars.” yes, maybe you have, but they were just that brief flash of light and then nothing. that’s me. people will remember Beach Bunny and the Ambassador. people will not remember me by name. and that’s all right with me because really, in all honesty, i am the Bun.

i can’t find my place in this world. i can’t find my place in my own life. i am cryingly, humbly grateful for my car, my apartment, my job, my children, and my Scotties. but almost irreverently with regards to all those things, all my fantasies are about being a recluse in a tower at the water’s edge. i have a sketchpad with photos and well, sketches of what it looks like, what i would have done if i had had millions and millions of dollars. i have to laugh, because yes, what i have conceived would take all that. maybe someday i’ll create a mixbook of it and share it with you. there is still more to do to it before i would unveil it so don't hang from a rope.

i am still waiting to get in to see a doctor. my daughter’s mother-in-law is supposed to be directing me to the better doctor from the list that is under my health plan at work. when i am allowed to sign up for health care through work i had wanted to already be under the care of one that is covered by the plan. i didn’t want to have to change doctors due to the health plan coverage, or lack thereof.

i hate this high blood pressure and diabetes. until i can get in to see a doctor and get the real lowdown on me in particular, i am scared. are my feet going to fall off? will i go blind? and then there are the things i love to eat that are now taboo. extra cheddar goldfish crackers. oatmeal cookies. Cheerios. they all seem to have too much salt. some too much sugar, too. i’ll have to wait until i can see the doctor to see if i am being overly careful. i have no idea but i would rather err on the side of caution. i do not want anyone pointing their finger at me and saying, “she gave up.” it would be a disgrace to my Carl’s name and all he went through during his life. it would also be a disgrace to my name after all i went through during my life, from my childhood through my first marriage, and after my Carl died. all the worries, the stresses, the condemnations, the beatings, the verbal abuse i've endure; i will not let myself or my Dragon down by quitting now. i will keep getting up and doing what i have to do. you may now call me Sisyphus.

but i do wish that woman would hurry. ten days getting back to me so far. please, just ask some nurses. they always know the doctors best. i know she is busy. i know she has a life but she offered. if it was going to be too hard for her to pick up a phone then i wish she hadn’t offered. i would like the advice but i cannot wait around indefinitely. i’m scared about all this and i am in a city that cannot/will never be home. i am scared and flying solo and blind without a net. this is my health we’re talking about here. i need to try.

so far very little appeals to me food wise. i am losing weight, which is fine. i need to. but i miss food. i miss the comfort of my chicken and dumplings, which i know has too much salt. i have to try and reconfigure that recipe. Boo has sent me a book that came on Saturday after the office here at the apartments closed. i will take the receipt for it from the mailbox and pick it up Monday before work. i am excited to read it. it is the DASH diet and is supposed to be ~ let’s go ahead and be dramatic ~ sublime.

some people leave

i remember all those posts about being so alone and with this go-round of stress and worry it has all become clear to me. i do not miss anyone. i have made only one friend here, a very recent friend, whom i had lunch with the other day. she is on Bunny’s itinerary and you’ll see photos of her visit with the Ambassador when it comes time. but for over 2 years, people here have blown into my life and then blown out just as quickly and i use the word “blown” indicating stormy for a reason. they created havoc.

i have been told i am not worthy as a friend due to lack of money and car. i now have a car but i do not have much “extra” money so i did not plan on renewing my acquaintance with that widow.

another widow who has me do things for her, has swooped me in on but it is once in a blue moon. she asks after me, after a fashion. “how are you? i think about you all the time but anyway, i need you to make, {or buy Girl Scout cookies}, yada yada…et al ad nauseum.” so i do for her. i buy from her. and then i stand there and watch her walk away without a backward glance. that is the time i am allowed to answer her. “i’m okay, i guess. i miss my husband. things are hard financially. but i’m okay…….nevermind.” and that’s when i turn and walk back in my own direction without a backward glance. *sigh*

the grief counselor that wasn’t. the “tribe” that has disbanded, or went dormant. after a powerful weekend, at least for me, no one kept in touch save one. in their defense, they were all hurting terribly. but i am hurting, too, and i think about them, messaged them, emailed them to no avail. i guess they are all too involved with their own lives, their own sorrow, and/or their own agendas. but when we meet another who hurts, supposedly connect with them on some level, why can't it be like the parable of the lost sheep? the 99 are safely in the pen and the shepherd goes in search of the lost sheep. i have always responded or been there for a widow or widower who has written privately to me, and i am busy. i have things to do. but i always answer with the most heartfelt writing i can bring. these people are reaching out from the abyss. how can i do less than sit back and ask myself, “what would you want to hear?” i send hope and understanding and the acknowledgement and awareness that there are few answers other than we are all on this journey together. our own personal and very intimate sorrow, but grief is a path that has many pilgrims on it, not travelers, but pilgrims for this is a journey of the soul.

to the widow who told me i was only her back up, the last person she calls simply because she knows i “will always be there and always say ‘yes.’ “ i now say, “no.”

to the widow who cursed me as “clumsy and an embarrassment” to her because i tripped while walking with her, i say, “thank you for never calling again.”

and to the widow who promised me she would be there for me, but who turned on me when i could not get some embroidered work done for her in her time frame, and who cruelly told me i needed anti-depressants, i say, “i am changing a few things in my life. if you contact me and i do not return said contact, you are one of those changes.”

i do not miss these people.

i do, however, miss is him. i am lonely only for him. i want him back. i feel like a spoiled child and yet, all i want is for him to come home. but alas, the adult that i am, the woman who saw him die; knows he is not coming back. i’ll never see his smile, hear his voice, feel his touch, smell his skin, or taste his lips. i am forever without him, or until i die and then……i guess i’ll see if i am worthy.

i want to go home, wherever home is now. i want the ocean so badly that sometimes my skin crawls when i look outside my windows. there is no life out there. there is such a controlled and anemic patch of nature out there i feel like i am in a failed biosphere. how can this city breathe without more nature? and this is called the city of trees. there are a lot, but they are culled and pruned and controlled. they are not as nature intended. they are as man forces them to grow in their little assigned areas, lined up like sentries in places. but always, always under man's strict control.

nothing feels free here. nothing feels slow or laid-back. it is all hurry and money and success and then the other side of that coin. illiteracy, narrow-mindedness, and callous little abuses handed down to the children, the worker bees, and the insignificant.

i want to go home. i want to go home. but home isn't there anymore because he has died and left me behind. i just wonder though, if i could wake up to the smell of salt air, and work to the sight of the gulls dancing in the air, and try to sleep to the sound of wind and waves, if i would feel better? if i would heal just a little bit?
some people stay.....

he would have stayed with me if he could have. i know that. i have my moments of doubt and fears, but the truth? he would have stayed with me. he loved me as much as i love him.
i have met some people who have stayed. Suzann called last night. always such a blessing. i was upset and she called to tell me she had found some Buddy Poppies to mail to me. i want them like some women want diamonds. kinda sad. kinda funny. but true. the Bun want's her Buddy Poppies.

Suzann has stayed. she has no idea what i look like. she sees me as Bunny. i guess i should send her a photo but then i do not want to disappoint her. Bunny is lovely. i am not. i know it will not matter to her, but it is that poor self-esteem thing rearing its ugly head. sorry, Suzann. one day.

Boo has stayed. she is my Diabetes Buddy. when i get my glucose meter, we're going to be there for each other to help each other stay on track.

Judith has stayed around. a woman from Canada named Marjorie and her husband, even her son has gotten into the Bunny fan club. they have stayed. they love the Bun, and me, and we speak online often. Dan is there for me if i need to talk. so is Deb. and the irony of all ironies, i have a grief counselor who lives about 9,500 miles from me. she is the one i need and yet, *sigh* she and i obviously cannot do the face-to-face kind of counseling i would like, but beggars cannot be choosers. she is a Godsend and i accept.

there are people out there, just not close. i am grateful.

i just wish he were here. i wish i could live beside the ocean with my art providing a decent living. i wish i may i wish i might have the wish i wish tonight..... i was recently told by a nameless someone that if i cannot support myself solely on my art, then i am not a real artist.


Dragon said i was an artist. if he said it, then it is gospel. i am an artist. i just also do other things.

Dragon, my love, you'll never know how much i miss you. or maybe you do. and i worry that you miss me, too. i want you to wait for me, but i want you to have a peaceful, fun time where you are. i want all the wonderful things that Heaven has for you be given to you. i just want you to be sort of hanging there waiting for me, too.

i love you more than time.


Violetta said...

Sweet Susan. I'm sorry you only have one friend here. I'm glad it is me.

thelmaz said...

Don't listen to the ones who say bad things. They don't really know you. I believe Van Gogh didn't support himself with his art either.

I love Bunny but I don't believe you are Bunny. More like, she is you. Or the you that you show to the world.

The Diabetes Association has free cookbooks. You could google them.

Take care, TZ

Sudden widow said...

I am out here. I wish there was a way to drown out the negative voices and only let the positive through. I remember reading, after Austin died, how relationships would change and people who you couldn't imagine would end up leaving your life. I was sure that wouldn't happen to me. But it has, and I'm so surprised at who is drifting out of our lives. It has really upset me but I'm trying to realize that it's not me, it's them. They can't deal with our situation for whatever reason that I can't fix (mostly my husband is dead and they have trouble facing that). So, their loss. I wish I could erase all the negative energy the rude and nasty people have sent into your life. Their cruelty is their loss, 'cause I believe in Karma. And you have good Karma!

Carl wishes he was with you, too. I wish you peace.

judemiller1 said...

For the love of God!!! Who could possibly tell you, you're not an artist! Amazing the stupidity of some people. Your words written here are artful, your quilts, your little animals made from socks--and especially the Bun. All are filled with art. I was once scoffed at as a children's writer because I couldn't support myself selling my books. BUT you know what? Every little kid (and some old folks) who go to my site and read the stories love the stories--and that is all that matters to me! As for missing the ocean? I do every day--I pretend the car noise I hear from the highway is the swish of ocean waves--coming in and going out. The little cottage I rented last May, right on the beach at Nag's Head--it wasn't much, but I could have stayed the rest of my life and been truly at peace.

womanNshadows said...

L, i am glad we met.

Thelma, thank you for the tip on the Diabetes cookbooks. i've ordered one to check it out.

Deb, i know you are out there. miss you at times. i have been deposited here for a reason, i guess, that is still a mystery. maybe the heart ceremonies and Bunny do more than i can ever know. i have grown a thicker skin though. just this high blood press. thing and the diabetes knocked me down for a while. but i'm getting back up.

Judy, you are so sweet. and you made me smile today. i can almost hear your voice. "for the love of God!!!" i am an artist. like i wrote, Carl said so and now you. there's my proof. maybe one day i'll find the ocean again, even if it's only in my dreams, but i will accept and have the peace i seek.

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

Suzann said...

My darling Susan - it matters little to me what you look like - but I have seen your photo when you were with Dan and Margo at Camp Widow :-) I love you with all my heart - you are my sister and always will that be so. One of these days you will come (You not the Bun) and we will sit and talk until we have no breath left in our bodies and we will sit in as much silence as we need. I send my love and a million hugs across the miles between - today and always. xoxo

Boo said...

well done for saying what you have about the "dementors" in your life. I had to sever ties with some people too (but not till I let them shit down my neck a few times because I want to believe that they are not so - I'm learning tho ... without him to balance the trust I have with his realism and cynicism and protection).

Stephanie Eriksson said that death/grief will re-write your address book for you. And she's right. It's sad, but I'd rather know where I stand.

BTW, I have a friend who is a diabetes nurse . if you have any qu's msg me on FB and I'll get u the answers xxx

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