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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

winter feelings

the song that starts off this blog is not one that particularly relates to my grief. i just like it. that's what music is for.

i miss my camera. Bunny is looking pretty cute these days with some Christmas clothes i made her but i have no way of showing you.

people are so strange at work. they are either decent and fun or they are obnoxious and greedy and arrogant. there is no in-between. i was doing a heart ceremony for a little girl when a man in his 60's, very well-dressed, put his arrogant, self-entitled hand between my face and the face of the child i was helping and snapped his arrogant, self-entitled fingers. his words to me?

"get up and come help me, NOW." yes, emphasis on the "now."

i patiently told him i would be right with him. his "BITCH!" echoed through the store as he left in a huff. my manager patted me on the back later and said i had done the right thing. you don't abandon a child mid-heart ceremony.

a child came up to me and demanded i stuff her bear. her mother apologized for her attitude. i was patient. {i am always patient.} when it came time for the heart, she reached in the bin with both hands and grabbed so many little satin hearts that quite a few fell to the floor. her mother was horrified and told her to put them all back and take only one. i encouraged her to take only one by saying that there were so many other children who will be coming and will want hearts in their bears.

"i don't care about them. they can go suck it." {she was 10. this child was 10 years old.}

her mother gasped. "if you continue to talk like that i'm not getting the bear."

"yes, you are. you always get me what i want."

and sadly, the little girl got the bear, clothes, underbears - underwear for bears, shoes, purse, a $38 pink wardrobe for the clothes, a little bear cell phone, and a backpack like i carry Bunny in.

but the bear only got one heart.

i told her she could only put one heart in the bear. i held the bear, looking at her, and speaking in a low tone. i simply said, "i need you to put back every single heart, taking only one for your bear. this is a day, just a day when your mom decided to do something nice for you. and the bear? she's not greedy. she only wants one heart. please, put them all back and just pick out one for her. that's all she wants. one heart. one little girl to take care of her."

one heart in the bear. one small conversation in a gentle voice. but the rest of the time there, the little girl was tragically greedy.

and then there was the little girl who was home "visiting" from St. Jude's Children's Hospital where she's being treated for a brain tumor. she came home to "visit" because her mother is dying of her own form of cancer and won't make it to Christmas. the family brought them in for Bunny to help them make bears. the mother put her voice on a Build-A-Sound so the little girl can take it back to St. Jude's with her. the little girl put her voice on a Build-A-Sound so her mother will have it.

and yes, i was excused for a break after they all left the store so i could go to the back room and let go a little bit, and then compose myself to get back out there.

i miss my Dragon. i miss telling him about my day. i miss his holding me and feeling his warmth.

Christmas is coming and i wish he were here.

a police officer who is assigned to the area comes to the Mall a lot to do his beat; to do a walk through. the Mall is part of his assignment. i have gotten to know him. he is my age and will retire in 2 more years he says. he found out i was a widow. he has asked me to lunch.

and i told him, "no. i'm sorry. i hope our conversations did not mislead you. but going out to lunch with you would be unfair to you. i am still in love with my husband. i'm not ready for anything beyond friendship."

he was very gracious. he told me i had not mislead him at all. he knows i wear my wedding rings. he had just asked one of the other girls because he has never seen my husband come to pick me up or even visit me during work. he had just wondered and then had become interested in me. "i see you with the customers. you're so sweet. and i see how the kids love you. i was drawn to that. and any woman who can wear a bunny on her back and carry if off like you do is worth knowing. we'll be friends. how about that?"

i agreed and we shook on it.

a few days later he brought me a slip of paper that had a quote on it he had found.

it said, "we need time to miss the people and the things we lose no matter whether the loss is temporary or permanent." this quote comes from one of my favorite people. Mister Rogers.

it was cold when he had to leave me. he went where i cannot yet go. it is getting colder again. Christmas is coming. New Year's. my birthday. then his anniversary. his. just his. the anniversary of his having to leave me.

December, January, February. one-quarter of a year to get through. me and Bunny. we'll get by.


Debbie said...

I love the picture at the top of the page. So peaceful. My heart is breaking at the story of the little girl with the brain tumor whose Mom is dying. Such tragedy. It makes me realize that when I feel sorry for myself I must remember to count my blessings. My prayers go out to her and her family, and to the broken child and man who have so much to learn about being human. I hope you go to lunch with your new friend. He sounds sweet, and we all could use a sweet friend. Thinking of you over the holidays and beyond...

abandonedsouls said...

and i am thinking of you over these holidays, and beyond.

Dan, in real time. said...

What a beautiful interaction with the gentleman from the Mall. People can be surprisingly considerate and empathetic. Have a peaceful rest of the week.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog while researching a masters thesis paper on grief. What a beautiful homage to the love of your life. Grief knows no timeline. Nor does it restore us to where we were before the loss. We are forever changed as you are so eloquently showing us. Thank you for this gift to the cyber world. Blessings to you as you continue to feel into the depths of your love for your dragon. {a big hug to you}
- Teresa in Colorado

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