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, February 28, 2012

mad, epic fail

a woman i never met but only knew of through someone else died this morning. she was in her late 70's. i saw what people, in the triple digits, had written on her CaringBridge page, all the plans for her funeral being presented. the family is renting a big hall to accommodate the expected crowds.

she was married to the same man for 55 years and they had started a theater group together. it has become a significant part of her area. lots of singing, barbershop quartet concerts, etc., perform there. her husband is already, i saw written, taking this terribly hard. he does not know what he will do without her.

her three children, all of her grandchildren dropped everything to be by her side as the cancer finally raged out of control a couple of weeks ago. there was round the clock sitting with her so that she was never alone. her hand was held. people came to tell her how she had impacted their lives with her singing, her theater, her outgoing ways. she was special and now that she had died, the world has lost someone so great that hundreds are already arriving to honor this woman.

it is impacting my son because he also knew this woman through his father's family. a family i used to belong to. i have sent my own private condolences.

surprise. i have been having a hard time with myself of late. well, i'm lying. i've been having a hard time with myself for the last 3 years. i lost my voice. well, that's a lie, too. i lost his voice, my Dragon's voice. i never found my voice; not in all these years. the only voice i had was the one that rose to protect my children. beyond

okay, that's a lie. i write. quite frankly i've written a great deal more than this tiny blogging community who finds me here knows about. i write under another name. another place. it gets positive attention. mostly. if anyone stops to read. i've also written 4 books that i have not gotten published. the handful of people who have read them are aghast. "my God, but these are incredible! you have to get these published!" that and $5 can get you a coffee at Starbucks.

what am i? what have i offered the world? is my life a mad, epic fail? who will come to my funeral? does the church still hold funerals if only 3 people come to mourn the deceased?

i am wallowing today. as you can see. please, don't find fault with me. it's a moment. only a moment in time. a lifetime. i'm struggling and sometimes struggling is ugly and dirty.

what have i accomplished? well, let's see.
i can make things. i can make beautiful, extraordinary things that no one else will take the time to, or knows how to.

a Dragon of a man once loved me. maybe he still does. i don't know about the things beyond the veil of death. i admit i am nervous to find out. what if he's moved on. what if he's found someone else, someone who's dead, and they've hit it off. hey, i'm wallowing here. it's my fear talking. no one said fear was always rational.

i have two great children, grown now and on their own. my son is doing very well. my daughter is, too. she is the one in my daily life and she puts up with me. i know she gets frustrated sometimes with my fumbling, but she is patient with me and fights hard for me. she is my pitbull and i love her.

i have two Scotties who love me. they follow me and lick my face when i cry. they annoy the hell out of me when they won't wait past 6 AM to go outside to pee. they stand over my face and lick me on the lips. can't ignore a dog licking your lips. can't try to roll over and sleep through that. nope. i've tried. and God bless'em, they always need to go. but then i work a lot of hours during the day and they wait for me. they wait and have never gone to the bathroom on the carpet. we've flown down the apartment stairs but they've never soiled the carpet.
i am well liked at work. both places. the sewing is always received with "oh, my God's," and "i am speechless," and a whole range of incredulity at my handwork. not bragging. just facts. i put my heart and soul into my sewing and it shows. at the Bear, i put my heart and soul into the guest service. i am remembered by our guests and i have return guests. i am the most requested Party Bear in our district; and pretty much overall as far as the country's stats go. got an indirect message from the CEO, you know, one of those she tells her secretary who passes to the secretary of the NorthEast Manager who passes it to the Regional Manager who passes it to the District Manager who passes to my manager. "Good job."

so what do i live for? where do i find enjoyment? i read of others who have found love again. i read of others who are buying new homes in places and starting over. i read of others who have started traveling more, to see the world for those stories they want to tell their husband or wife when they "met up again in the hereafter."

i am stuck here. i will never be able to ask for a day off work. i need the money. i will never have a home beyond this apartment, i don't think. not unless my son can help me, unless we can figure something out with a little condo/townhouse. right now, that is as lavish a dream as my Dragon coming back to me with $350 million dollars in the bank. dead dreams. all dead.

so what do i live for? what keeps me going? my children. my dogs. Bunny. i love to sew. i do like a good heart ceremony and a successful party at the Bear.

i like big storms. i like to watch them build. i like to take pictures and with the grace of two wonderful friends out there, i have two wonderful cameras. S and D, if you're still reading my blog you know who you are. huge embrace and the dream of someday coming to visit you in your respective states.
i love Christmas Mass. i love plants. i love listening to music. i love kisses from my dogs.

i love to fantasize. i don't dream anymore, but i do fantasize. the difference? a dream might come true and i am not self-abusive. i do not ever kid myself. but a fantasy? ah, a fantasy can take you anywhere. it can give you a beautiful, small, old brick and stone home over a bit of water where the dogs can lay out over the windowsill in the sunshine.
a fantasy can give you a garden, a beach to walk on,

a chance to be with my beloved again ~ for just a night,

an escape from the reality that i live every time i bring myself back from those fantasies.

i never let myself believe for one minute that i will ever have .........ever have things again. i am too blessed with what i have been allowed to have right now. it is not negative to think that way. it is self-preservation. too many things have bent the wrong way for me to ever believe i live anywhere close to a "lucky star."

and when i die? will anyone "cut {me} out in little stars and make the face of Heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun?" no. i will only be missed two people, my son and my daughter. the only one who would truly grieve over me has already died, and i have touched no one's life to the point where they would drop everything to fly in to my funeral. i simply have not made that much of an impact.

well, maybe a few children who come into the Bear to hug me on a regular basis will miss me. there will be the fallen faces, the possible lack of understanding of death, and then they will see a new furry friend on the wall and i will be forgotten.

to what or whom
do i owe this pleasure
of a long and lonely night?
ah, death, 'tis death
that took away
all the love and light.

where is he, or is he out there
is he waiting for me?
again, it's death, only death
that can show my love to me.

is my life one long, lonely event where i have touched no one's life, impacted no one enough to have earned them caring about me? and how arrogant does this sound? it sounds so much like whining to want to be a little bit important to the world at large, or to a small bit of the local community where i am. see? struggling to come to grips with the life i have been handed is very ugly. embarrassing. but, if anything, i've never not been brutally honest in writing about how i feel. grief sucks. losing him was one of the most terrible things that has ever happened to me, along with the death of my son, etc.

so is my life a mad, epic fail? when compared with the woman i wrote about at the start of this missive, yes, it is. i am a failure. no one will come to stand in the church and mourn my passing. i have touched no one like that. but as is written in the Desiderata, "do not compare yourself with others. you may become vain or bitter." so i guess in the end, 30 yeas from now, even tomorrow, it doesn't matter how popular you were, how important you were, as long as you did something with what you were given. i've sewn for people. i've comforted people. i've been nice to people. i'm a fairly decent person. i am afraid of God. i have, and do, love one man deeply. i am here for my children and my dogs. in the face of some pretty tough emotional and financial odds, i have not given up. there are things i love like books and music and memories. and i can still fantasize. i don't torture myself with dreams that can never come true.

what else do i love? i love a really good starry, starry night. and yes, the night of a full moon.


Debbie said...

I don't believe that our significance is life is measured by the number of people who grieve our passing, but the deepness of grief that is felt when we move on. What matters is that we have loved the people in our world well. There is a young man at my house who every night sleeps wrapped in the quilt you made him. The quilt you spent hundreds of hours sewing for him wraps him in memories of his Dad every night before he goes to sleep and as he wakes up every morning. The quilt you made me comforts me at times when I am inconsolable. And the quilt you made my other son lies in a place of honour in his room, where it is revered and touched with smiles of sweet memories. That is powerful. You have made a difference in this world, much more than you know. You love the people in your world well. You are an epic success. Sending you peaceful energy tonight.

judemiller1 said...

We had a dream of moving--back to the farm land where i was born--we had it all planned, the house plan, the gardens, all of it. It was going to be wonderful. Our dream went with Fred. Now--I am alone, and poor and have absolutely no dreams nor even a notion of how to go forward into whatever days I have left. Before, when I read your blog, I could not really identify with what you were I know. I thank you for your help through all of this--my journey that is just starting. Thank you!!

abandonedsouls said...

Debbie, thank you for saying that.

Judy, as always, i'm here for you.

Jane said...

Since I lost my husband, I have never felt more alone in the world. It's to the point where I am continually missing work because I don't see the point of getting out of bed each morning. I know this is an unhealthy way to live, so I have turned to friends and sites like to help me through this hard time and cope with my husband's death.

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