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.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bunnies let loose on the world

there are Bunnies let loose out there in the world. i've sent them off. one is the Traveling Ambassador with photos here sent from their hostesses. the other is Lucy Starshadow who is in a box awaiting a FedEx pickup in the morning. she will fly to Minnesota.

the Ambassador will eventually come back to me. Lucy will live forever up with Suzann and be part of the Grief Project.

Lucy is pictured up top with Beach Bunny. the two are saying their final words. they will probably not see each other again. sayonara ~ since it must be so.

the following photos are of the Ambassador Bun sitting quietly contemplating what the widows do not say. she mediates on the photos set up for her. photos of her beside a photo. photos of her being involved in whimsey.

grief and whimsy. her whole reason for being.

she is learning a lot from what is said to her. she is learning a lot from what is being written in her journal.

and she is learning a whole lot more from what is not said; just from how she is set up for pictures.
"i walked a mile with pleasure.
she chatted all the way
but left me none the wiser
for all she had to say.
i walked a mile with sorrow
and ne'er a word said she,
but, oh, the things i learned from her
when sorrow walked with me."
~ Robert Browning Hamilton
the Ambassador feels very deeply about what she is doing. she feels needed and wanted and that's all any little soft stuffed Bunny-girl can ask for.

Lucy will soon be doing the same thing for the Grief Project. she won't travel around, but sit quietly and wait for those who mourn to come to her. Lucy is a Bunny who will live her life as a soft reminder that there is comfort to be found when the whole world is falling down around you.

she will always be your 3 AM friend.

good work, Bunny. good work, Lucy. i can hardly wait for Ambassador Bun to come home to me. i will miss Lucy something awful, but i know i have to let her go. she is one Bunny i was not meant to keep.

it was something in her eyes.

Bunnies let loose on the world. it could be worse.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

where Bunny has been

Bunny has been quiet. she is tired. so much going on in her fuzzy little mind. talking about her past via email to a widow who is being her grief counselor. she is thinking about her future, and missing her beloved Dragon.

no full moon for her tonight. 99% is not full though the naked eye cannot tell the difference. but Bunny knows. she feels it in her soul. her lovely Dragon died on the night of the full moon. full. and that is the moon she craves.

she anticipates it like a lover anticipates the arrival of her mate. Bunny's mate flew past the moon to where she cannot go and he did it on the night of the full moon.

rain comes and blocks the moon. it is shining up there without Bunny to gaze upon. she is missing it and she is pensive. restless. why, after this month that she has had, why take away her one night with the moon? to beat her down further? to make her weaker? to make her cry?

she is sad and tired and lonely. Bunny grieves. she wishes with all her heart for a different road to drag her fuzzy little self along. she's really draggin'. dragon. poor little Bunny. she always goes there. any link she can come up with to get to him.

she closes her soft little eyes and tries to see him. she tries to see the moon.

ahh, there it is.

Friday, June 10, 2011

i think i give up

i think i'm going to give up. i'm tired of trying. nothing gets better. nothing gets easier.

i want him back. i need him so much. i'm so tired. i'm crying all the time now. again. i thought working be make things a little easier. i would be paying for things on my own. i have the hours, but now, the diagnosis hit me and flattened me.

high blood pressure and diabetes. and i have no health care. first it was, "wait until August." then earlier this week it was "wait until January." today it was "you have to wait until April 2012."

i think i give up. grief wins. life wins. i'm too tired. did i mention i cry all the time now when i'm here at the apartment? i just sit and cry and i can't do anything.
when i am here, i want to sleep all the time. i'm losing the fight for the light.
see. Bunny used to always wish, believe, and she swam in the ocean all the time; well, not in the winter time. that was her life before. click on the photo and enlarge it. you'll see that she arranged the refrigerator magnets to show you.

now she wishes for what can never be. she has stopped believing in anything remotely going her way, or even just being easy. and she hasn't been swimming since the summer before he died.

no water in her life. no ocean. no sand. no Dragon. almost, almost, no hope anymore. yes, it looks like Bunny is giving up. she is going to lay down and let life run right over her. it's going to anyway no matter what she does.

life is so unkind.

excuse me while Bunny goes and cries.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


no health care for me until january. i have to be there for a year. i can't stand this. i really can't. and the b*tch who said she would guide me, my daughter's mother-in-law, whom i haven't heard from since her offer of medical advice, just chimed in on Facebook.

i put her words in puke green because she just regurgitated them out from some "chicken soup for the soul's of stupid people" book she must have read.'s challenges are not always good ones, you've been faced with many of the hardest ones in a short amount of time. Keep your ears up and your pink nose towards the sky, we're praying for you and know that answers come when we need them.

doesn't this b*tch know that i know all about life hardest challenges? i f*cking know already. i need a f*cking break from all these challenges i've faced for 53 years. 50 + 3 = 53 f-ing years i've faced abuse from loved ones and from life. i want to live like the blessed ones for a while. just a short while. enough food. health care. ability to make ends meet. that's all i want. relief from all this stress. just let one thing, ONE THING, go right for me, please.

i hate life today. hate it. why is it so mean? why are people so stupid and self involved and filled with these soulless platitudes? "answers come when you need them." f*ck you. i need answers and help now, you arrogant twit! you're a nurse! you're a f*cking hospital administrator now! give me that advice you offered so melodramatically before. don't make me wait for providence to give me that answers. i need an answer now! i want one now!

i can't take too much more of this. i just can't. oh, God, please don't let me drown.

~~ it's about 2 PM. i'm back from a short day at work. i see the b*tch took her post down. she commented that she only meant to offer comfort. {Susan, I'm sorry you have to face another challenge. I was hoping to provide comfort, I didn't mean to imply that I didn't understand or appreciate the journey your life has been. I truly hope things get better for you.}

contrite? who knows with her. you'd have to meet her to know the teeter totter-ness of her moods. but at least i and my widow friends got our point across. platitudes never work. we need support and suggestions and hope. lots and lots of hope from each other.

thank you ladies. i needed you today. so very down and mad and upset and...... you get the picture.

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

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the Dragon speaks again

i haven't spoken since December 2009. a long while by what you know as time; by what i used to understand time was. time is nothing now, except i am waiting on her. i know she wishes that. i know she deep down believes i am. she always had faith in me. always. it never wavered.

i wish she had faith in herself. what she has is the strongest sense of survival i've ever seen in a person. but surviving is not living and if anyone deserves to allow herself to feel all that she has inside her, it's my Bunny. my sweet, beautiful wife. she deserves to live with a free and peaceful spirit.

i watch her day after day. she's tired; so very tired. life is running her over time and again and i never could figure out why. but she is the poster girl for getting up and continuing on. three recent things have pissed me off and i wish i could interfere.

that mess last weekend with Voldemort. appropriate name for him. arrogance. a sense of entitlement that far exceeds his worth to this world. he needs to be reminded what he is inside. he needs to see his soul as i do. i'd like to turn him inside out and show him.

my Bunny got her lab results yesterday. it is definitely diabetes. and she cried a little. she sat for about 15 minutes holding that thin sheet of paper. she started to say something out loud, but then she looked at the urn she keeps that is surrounded by my old stuff, my old medals and knives, and the flag she got at my funeral. she was going to say something to me out loud, like she forgot i died. but i heard her. i am there with her. i can hear her before she says it. my poor Bunny. she cried harder then. not for herself but for me.

see, she worries about me. i wish i could hold her and make her feel it. but she is too deep in her grief to do that right now. she reads about others who have had "signs" and she thinks she has had two. the radio i made turn on the night after i died. i made it play "Angel," that Sarah MacLachlin song. and then the heart cloud she saw when she and our daughter crossed the border into North Carolina when she moved down there.

i was with her then. i am with her now. but she is afraid to see any signs for fear she is tricking herself with a lie. my poor Bunny. afraid she will get into trouble by believing in something that isn't real. but she does believe in love. my love. our love. she clings to that like a shipwrecked person clings to a bit of debris. she will never let go of our love.

the last thing that i wish was different, or that she hadn't overheard was at work. if anyone comes into that store who has a life crisis; heartbreakingly divorced and searching for a stuffed toy for their children, dying and family members are having that one last visit where they can record the dying person's voice, or if someone is buying a bear to put on a grave, they all go to my Bunny. she opened the door to the back room and overheard someone call her the Duchess of Death. it was meant as a joke, but my gentle Bunny was already drained from just having dealt with a woman who was in stage 4 cancer who had been given barely this summer to live. her daughter and granddaughter had filmed the whole heart ceremony. they had had this dying woman record her voice on those little sound boxes. my wife did not cry. she held up well and made it a soulful and memorable experience for that daughter and granddaughter, but it pulls something out of her each time she does it. she is exhausted.

and then she heard, Duchess of Death, and it went into her like a knife. the little group hushed up, and my wife smiled at them. but she was bleeding inside.

i wish i could have held her then. i wish i could have comforted her and let her know that the impact of being there for those people as she was, with the depth that she was, and giving of her whole absent heart as she did, was so very important and powerful. but she doesn't see it that way. she can't and probably never will. my wife is anything but vain.

she is doubting herself. she is asking about Heaven. what is it. where is it. if it even is. she does not doubt God. she doubts if she will get there. she wonders where i am. she prays for me all the time, for our son and daughter, and lastly, for herself. i wish i could reassure her. i wish she could feel me close. i wish she didn't doubt. love does conquer all. even death. her prayers are heard. her love for me and her children is so strong, her ability to empathize with others, not just feel compassion, but truly empathize, is so vast, she will find me. we will be together again.

she is so tired of struggling alone. she needs someone to talk to about all that has happened to her. she needs to sit beside someone and that someone needs to feel. that someone needs to feel anger for her and see the pain. that someone needs to look my wife in the eye and tell her what happened to her was a terrible thing. i wanted to kick that counselor in the ass who told my Bunny that her mother was nice now and to remember that rather than speak about all the bad things. that's like cementing over a wound and not letting the poison out. you have to clean the wound before you cauterize it, otherwise the infection stays. any field hospital knows that. you have to bleed before you can sew it up.

my sensitive little Bunny. she cannot stop people from hurting her. she cannot prevent some bad things f from happening to her. but if she cannot stop Voldemort from rearing his ugly head, if she has to live with always working to control her diabetes, and if she continues to be the Duchess of Death, i wish she would know this one thing.

i am waiting for her.
i have a place in mind for us for when she comes to join me. i will be the first thing she sees, even before she is fully gone from this world and only part way into this next one. this place is everything she's ever wanted.
i will be with my wife, my funny little Beach Bunny, for all her days. one day this intense sadness she feels will lessen and she will feel me beside her. she will know i walk beside her, stand with her, and sleep next to her all night long. i am with her because, to be honest, i couldn't leave her.
i may have died, but i never left.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Voldemort & conflict resolution

had to gather my thoughts to write this. but i need to write it out. that's what this place is for. getting it out of my head.

it happened Friday while i was still at work. i had to close that evening. i was nervous throughout the day. tension building like a storm inside my blood. my daughter was supposed to be on the flight to New England at 6. her husband was driving her. their car stalled out. she missed her flight. not only that but now the car is out on the road to the airport in a part of town where it would be stripped clean by dark-30.

so she called Voldemort who said, and i quote, "so get the tow truck to take you to the airport. i'll have another flight waiting for you."

"i can't get to the airport. we got a friend to come get us and he took us back to work."

"okay, here i've got you a flight that will leave at 10 tonight. you'll get into Boston a little after midnight. there's a bus 2 terminals over. get the tram to take you there and get on the last bus. it leaves at 1:30 and will drop you {near where he lives} between 3 and 3:30 AM. call me when you get at the station and i'll come get you."

"are you serious? and what about my car?"

"call a tow truck."

she hung up on him. she cannot afford a tow truck. she cannot afford to fix the car again. he had paid to have it fixed this time and they did not do the work properly. she called me at work sobbing.

in the middle of her conversation with me, she was interrupted by her brother, already in New England, ringing in.

"okay, i've talked to him. this is how it's going to work. call a tow truck and give him dad's number. he's paying to have it towed. tell the tow guy to tow the car back to where you had it fixed. i've already called the service manager and told him that he will fix the car and honor his work. that's it. he is going to honor his work. and you're not coming up here this weekend. the flight he put you on just got delayed until midnight. you won't be getting in until after the bus leaves and i'm not driving to Boston at 2:30 in the morning. it's ridiculous to try and do that. i've made him cool with that."

"oh, my God, how did you do all that? how did you get him to agree to all that?"

"money. his money paid for work that wasn't satisfactory. he needed to be reminded that his money and what people do with it is more important that family. the flight? money again. it would cost him more of his money. he doesn't want to see you and parade you around pretending that he has this great relationship with you more than he wanted to keep his money. now i love you to death and i know you never wanted to come up here so it was easy. money."

"thank you, thank you so much."

"it's okay. i really wanted to see you and hang out with you. you know. a band of brothers or brother and sister thing, but i can take it better than you. i don't care as much and i paid my own way. he can't hold that over me. you, he can manipulate, and he was whacked to try all this and then have you scrape the money together and borrow from mom who has less to try and tow your car and get it re-fixed. that's nuts. he's easy once you remember he really doesn't care as much as he pretends to. it's always gonna be about the money."

and there you have it. conflict resolution. you have to remember what matters most to your opponent and dangle that in front of him/her/them.

the Three Musketeers, or in this case, one of the Musketeers got it done for another Musketeer. "all for one and one for all."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bunny hates this weekend, but she loves this story.

my lovely son is in New England already. touched down about half an hour ago. i am upset.

my wonderful daughter will arrive by 8 PM tomorrow night. in New England. both my babies in his clutches. both of them staying at Voldemort's house this weekend. both leaving, thankfully, on Sunday.

his step daughter is getting married; the one he told our daughter, his blood, that her wedding could not interfere with. this is the one he is spending money on. not his own daughter. his own daughter had restrictions because two years ago he was already shelling out deposits for this one. two years ago he came to his own daughter's wedding toasted and got more drunk and humiliated her by refusing to give a toast.

i hate this weekend. hate it, hate it, hate it. with a hatred that runs so deep you cannot imagine. and if anyone comments that it will soon be over, or that it should just be water off a duck's back for me, or that my children could have, as adults, declined to go, i say, "you do not know anything about Voldemort. you do not know the story behind all this." if any one person tries to tell me that it will be okay, because yes, i know they will survive this, endure the poison that leaks from his mouth, i will imagine beating said person about the neck and shoulders until something loosens and then i will ............ okay. enough said. i have high blood pressure. must go to work and be chipper. happy. all bunnies and bears.

so to temper my panic that he has them this weekend, and my imaginings as to what Voldemort's family will say to my son and daughter to make them feel awful, i give you this story.

Bunny loves this story.

Bunny just needs to breathe. it's only for the weekend. just breathe.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

do justice to this life

and it cost me almost, almost as much as my rent. i couldn't swing it, not even with my son's contribution. going to have to wait for the bill for the amount i could not pay and do the payment plan.

but, he was nice. the office was clean and soothing. the nurse was funny and sweet. they talked to me. really talked to me. answered questions. the lab vampires were hysterical. everyone was so very nice.

so, yeah. i have diabetes and high blood pressure. slam, bam, thank you. that's unless my blood work comes back with some horrible, unnamable disease on top of all that.

how can i live as timid as i have become and live well? how can i do justice to this life i have if i am always worrying, always pining for something i can't have?

i want a friend who i can call on to do stuff with, like go to that doctor's appointment when my daughter could not go. i want a here in my face pal to come over and eat with, laugh with, do the occasional thing with. not all the time. just once a month or so. i wouldn't be a burden.

i want to know what some of those women out there are thinking,; the ones i went on that retreat with, when they see on Facebook that i am struggling, and they ignore it. i thought we had connected. i called us a "tribe." i photographed the whole thing. i felt like there were others out there who understood, more than just that "get it" thing i always hear and see being batted about. what happened to them? was just me not enough? and why? why am i not ever enough without all the sewing and creative stuff? just me.

i want him back. i want him to whisper in my ear and feel his warm breath. i want my skin to tingle again and my body to come alive. i feel so dead inside that i wonder if, in all seriousness, a huge part of me didn't die with him. i tried taking my rings off. i froze. i couldn't leave the bathroom. when i put them quickly back on i felt like myself again. married to my Carl. i still feel so very married. i only want him.

a lot of men come through the store. nice looking me of a certain age. divorced mostly. buying for their children. they talk. they flirt. i am not aware of the flirting until they leave and one of the other girls i work with comes over and says, "hey, he was nice looking and he was really flirting with you." i do the furrowed brow thing and say stupidly, "huh?" never knew it happened. i only see single men as fathers buying for their children, never as men. i see them as handsome, too, but from a drawing/artist point of view. never as a woman. i have my Greek god and he died, but he is still mine and i am still his.

i am scared of living and scared of dying. living is mundane now. there is no ocean. there is no life as i relate to it here in this city. living is bills and money worries and health scares and worries. living is waiting on people to notice me and then watching them ignore me and then forget me. living is too hard to do and yet, living is what i have to do to get to where i want to go. i am trying to live with a kind of rumpled and messed up grace that honors my children and my Dragon. ah, my lovely, lovely Dragon. just the words echo through me like a song that i am struggling to not sing out loud.

i an scared of dying. what if i don't find him? what if i am lost in some horrible blank, colorless world like my nightmares? or, oh, God please forbid, stuck as a lost soul in my tiny apartment to haunt the next tenant. i'll end up being a made for tv movie on the Chiller network or SyFy Saturday night, "the most terrifying night on television."

i want to go "home," to live and when i die. i want to win a lottery so i can take that money and go live on the beach. to hell with rising ocean levels. i need the sound of the surf. i need the peace of walking with my feet in salt water. and when i die, i want to go "home" to the Heaven that is offered. i want to be forgiven for being a wimp all my life, for being hurt all my life and feeling so badly. i want to find my Carl and hold his hand and find the beach in Heaven, and live forever with him there.

but first, i need to find a way to do justice to this life. i need to just get past the lab results, find the food i can eat and not be so flippin' hungry, {i've lost 8 pounds in 5 weeks}, and accept that working to make toys for people is, though a humble job, a sometimes profound one for some. my heart ceremonies matter in some way to the sea of life. one tiny ripple expands to something that touches more than i can ever know.

i need to see a way to do justice to this life; even if i go against the grief time lines and stages ~ wearing my wedding rings, and feeling married to him forever.