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, March 6, 2012

a rumor of angels

in 1832, five years after Beethoven's death, a German critic compared the sonata to the effect on Lake Lucerne, and the interpretation became so popular that, by the end of the century, the piece was universally known as the "Moonlight Sonata." Beethoven himself had attributed the emotion of the piece to sitting at the bedside of a dear friend who had suffered an untimely death.
my beloved Dragon died on the full moon. widely known if you've read my missives before.
i had yesterday off from work and today. miraculous as i have been working week after week straight through with maybe one or two days off a month. the moon is coming full. that's it tonight up there in the big photo. the last two days i've been cleaning out files. i deleted my Dragon's email account, personal and business. there just is no need to keep them up anymore. it's not a step forward. it's just a step. maintenance of my life. i also wrote out everything my children will need to know for when i die. more maintenance of my life. making it easier to clean up after me.
in going through files, tossing things out, i found his EKG strip from the night he died. i didn't know i had it. i don't know why they thought i would want it. the strip no more verifies his death to me than the death certificate. his absence alone is enough for me.
i love him. i thought about it again when someone came into the store and casually asked when i would ever take off my rings. this man's sister had taken hers off 3 months after her husband died. she put herself on the dating websites at 6 months. she has been married and divorced twice since her husband died. it will be two years for her April 1. his off-the-cuff casual remark was, "i mean, God bless her, at least she's trying to move on." he was a customer and i had to treat this forced upon me conversation with care, but i did manage to say, "maybe the reason she's had two divorces is she is looking for her husband in every man she meets. it is possible that she is moving on in the wrong direction, or too fast."
it never ceases to amaze me how people feel they can impose their judgments upon strangers. now it has become water off a duck's back. i let it slide off me without leaving a dent. after 3 years of this, of failing at every attempt at grief groups and talking to people, i just let it go and go my own way. there's no one to really sit and talk this out with, not for any long kind of conversation, or frequent one where the whole story gets told in confidence.

parts of it are floating around out there in places where it will never come together in any significant way to help me get past it faster. so i am taking this journey sort of on my own.
"lead, kindly light, amid th'encircling gloom,
lead thou me on;
the night is dark, and i am far from home;
lead thou me on;
keep thou my feet; i do not ask to see
the distant scene - one step enough for me." ~ John Henry Neuman
i do sort of look for signs that i have help. angels. i have two cameras at my ready hand because of two angels. Sandy and Dan. i have a job i work hard at and am recognized as "Bunny" by my co-workers who have given me positive reinforcement. angels all.
i have my two fuzzy puppies who love me and need me. i am needed. two fuzzy angels.

i work very hard at my sewing. i have talent with a needle that is not common. it is appreciated by those who have asked for my work. they are angels for giving me something else to work on.
i do not worry anymore about living up to the expectations of others. i will never meet it. i need to feel comfortable. i need to feel safe. i. me. i do not have the strength to make legions happy. i do not have the desire. my strength is saved to fight the spiritual battles of my nights. and the nights that hit me during the day. i am older now and physical strength is allocated for stamina at work.

"one aspect of deep grief is loss of imagination. one cannot imagine a time when one is not in pain.
how many times have i sabotaged myself by leaping ahead of my own healing process, trying so desperately to 'feel better' that i make myself feel even worse because i have added to my primary pain the new complication of failure. in cheating myself of the necessary time to feel bad i have cheated myself of the only process that could really heal me. ultimately, the only way to get through something is to get through it - not over, under, or around it, but al the way through it. an it takes as long as it takes." ~ Alla Bozarth-Campbell, Ph.D
"not a day passes over the earth, but men and women of no note do great deeds, speak great words, and suffer noble sorrows." ~ Charles Reade

my Dragon was a great man. no one could take note of his deeds for they were done in secret. his patriotism left no mark that anyone can point to and say, "he fixed that," "he saved them," and "he helped the world." all secrets. all being pushed into a file to be forgotten forever.
he spoke great words ~ of love to me, of dreams he wanted to see fulfilled, of sweet nothings that mean everything to a woman like me.
he suffered in silence the pains in his body from living a lifetime as a warrior. his death was a sneak attack.
have there been signs from him? i don't know and i do let myself think maybe, just maybe. it could also be my guardian angel. maybe there is something else for me to do. some lasting legacy i need to finish. more quilts. more sewing. more heart ceremonies. more growing up to do. more penance for a misspent life, or.....

maybe there is more beauty for me to see: clouds, moons, grandchildren ~ graces all.

i still miss him. i still love him. i still wear my rings. i still talk to him every day. i still talk about him if someone asks, only if someone asks. my life is a lonely one without him here at night, in the dark, in bed.

i know humans can never become angels, but maybe there is an angel who represents my husband who comes in during the night to sit and watch over me. maybe that angel was the one who gave me the strength to slowly move my hand over the can, slowly open my fingers holding that strip of paper, that EKG with the little flat line all the way across it, and then turn away and not watch it fall into the trash.
"the sight of stars always sets me dreaming just as naively as those black dots on a map set me dreaming of towns and villages. why should those points of light in the firmament, i wonder, be less accessible than the dark ones on a map of France? we take a train to go to Tarascon or Rouen and we take death to go to a star." ~ Vincent Van Gogh referring to his painting, "Starry Night."


judemiller1 said...

So very difficult. I don't think I will ever move Fred's shoes away from the front door--where he always kicked them off when he came in the house. I've gotten rid of all his clothes and other things, but for some reason--those shoes have to say there. It's almost as if I were afraid to let them go because then--it would all be true? Know what I mean? Yes--you do. Keep your rings on forever--why not!!! And I agree with you about the woman--she is hunting for that same feeling she had with her deceased husband and she will NEVER find it--why even try if my theory! If you've had the best, why would you even be interested in the rest? Sorry--I talk too much!!

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