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.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


i am really in  rough place.  i know the reasons.  can't, no, won't tell you.  i don't think it really matters anyway to anyone but me.  just know i am in a rough place.  but i am still here.  won't quit.

will never quit.

my Dragon never did, and he had been in some very rough places, actual, physical rough places and times.  'cuz, yeah, he was {is} a Marine.  those guys are sent to rough places and rough places stress you out.   my Dragon never gave up.  so i'm not.

i also have my two children, grown though they are.  never going to lay down and quit.

but i am low.  tearful.  exhausted.  worried.

a man my Dragon and i had gotten to know during out walks about Rockport was Paul St. Germain.  he is the president of the Thatcher Island Association.  he is also spearheading the renovations to the lightkeeper's house on my island, mine, as in all mine ~ Straitsmouth Island.  or as i like to call it, mine.

anyway, i opened email this morning and he had sent me 12 photographs of the island and the renovation that is going on.  i smiled.  so bittersweet.  he said if i ever get back up there he will take me out to my island.  we'd walk around and i could take pictures to my heart's content.  he said, "dawn to sunset.  the island will be yours for the day."  he said the town still and the island association still refer to it as my island.  they just remember all the hours i spent staring at that austere and secluded piece of real estate.  the lobstermen would be hurrying in and spy me out on the rocky point off Whale Cove at the start of the big nor'easters taking photos.  they would head in.  i was staying out there.

it's home to me.  and when you're in a rough place, all you can think about is going home.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

fading away

the doctor was wrong, i think.  i feel worse and worse.  i've woken up crying because i am awake.  i feel lost and alone at this time.  no plans for the future except to keep my head down and work and scrimp out a living.  no dreams big or small except hoping i get time to see my daughter next month, and my son after that.  no dreams at all for anything. 

when a person stops having hopes and dreams, little plans for a future fun or day off, are they even a real person anymore?  i don't know how long these feelings will last, but i guess i have to last.

i wish for a break from this:  physical pain {i have a day off next month, doctor visit that day for diabetes, going to talk to him again about this}, loneliness, lack of energy, sleeping too much, worry, stress over money, fear of not having enough to pay my bills, introspection at what it is about me that does not endear myself to anyone....any one person.  and the one person who could stand me has died.

i wrote that my brother died, and not one comment, no reaching out, not one, "i'm sorry for the loss."  grief again magnified by not being good enough for him and not even a {{hug}}.  and in real life?  "can you work?"  yes, of course.  i will work.  i am working.  i will always work.  if i don't show up for work, either my child has died or i have died or a meteor has hit the earth.

maybe if my body didn't hurt so much, physical pain, i could rise above this. 

i feel like i am fading away and .......

only my two children will know.

if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound?
if a person is abandoned, ignored, forgotten, let behind, is she really there?

i hope he remembers me.  i hope he still loves me.  i think God knows i'm here, if only to see if i need to be punished for being bad.  hope slipping away is a little like losing faith.

fading, fading a bit more, maybe not writing anymore, i don't know anymore since i don't plan anything anymore, pulling back and in, not reaching out to get forgotten or dumped as in the past, fading,


                                                        fading away until....


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

what death takes away...

i have to be honest with myself, and since this is my place, i am going to be honest here.

i am living as a quasi-hermit.  i go to work and deal with people all through my shift.  then i turn the smile off and get myself back to my place, shut the door, and check out of life.  i haven't had time to try and find any outside for me.  i am too tired.  i hurt too much.  i sit and work on my other job.  i sit and sew for someone else.  my daughter checks in every day; my son checks in every other day.  but i see no one else.

i do not have a friend to talk to.  i have given up finding a counselor.  i have tried so many times and they all leave.  i am the common denominator so it has to be me.  i am not someone to be friends with.

and yet, at work, i can pull it off.  strangers adore me.  i make people laugh.  i relate to them and pull them out of themselves.  i can get someone to spill their secrets inside of 30 seconds and then give them a heart ceremony to remember forever, to bring them back to me at the store time and time again and ask for me.  i cannot get someone to stay in my life as a friend for longer than a couple of months.  duration?  do i wear people out?  is that what happened to my Dragon?  did he wear out?

i've hit a road block in the journey.  i need him back to talk to me.  i haven't told anyone, well, one person i told, actually told in an email.  this road block is a big deal to me and i don't know what to do with it.

my brother died.

yeah, i was once someone's sister.  and he abandoned me because i didn't have money to give him to help him pay for his twins' college tuition.  i just didn't have it and he got mad.  he stopped speaking to me.  when i lost my Dragon, he hung up on me.  almost 2 weeks ago, my sister-in-law emailed me to call her. i called.  my brother had died.  he had not wanted to have contact with me, even while knowing he was going to die.  i was not worth it.

my sister-in-law did not understand why my brother was so harsh.  she had encouraged him to get in touch with me.  she was very sorry, but, oddly enough she did not wish any further contact.  apparently she and my brother had marital troubles and she has a new boyfriend.  such is my life.

what death takes away
no man can restore.

truer words......

what death takes away, we can never have again.  we can never have answers to our questions.  we can never have an understanding of the relationship.  we can never find out what went wrong, or why, or how it could have gotten so far away from us.  and lastly, death takes away any chance at a resolution which, without that person, we may never find.

i need to talk to someone who loves me and can respond to me with clarity and logic.  my daughter called him an asshole.  my son, pretty much the same.  my Dragon would have walked over to me and embraced me while i cried.  he would have let me talk, vent, rage about the insane injustice, about the wasted years.  and then he, in that low gentle voice of his, he would have gone over why the failure was not my fault.  he would have held me and caressed my hair.  he would have let me taken the time to grieve; to talk about it over and over until i accepted that there will never be a resolution to this.

friend/grief counselor/brother ~ i wish i knew why and how i was so dispensable.

i did ask my doctor about my melancholia/depression.  he asked me some very hard questions.  he said he felt i had a healthy view of my husband's death and of my life since.  he said i was logical, rational, and taking care of myself.  i am holding down a job in which i got a promotion in record time.  he said i had a deep bond with my husband.  he said that it was not unheard of but rare enough to make people wonder at it.  he admitted to me that i probably would not ever be effervescently gleeful again, but then few people really are and to not worry.  bottom line, i do not need medication. i am handling my grief appropriately.  he said to keep writing about what moves me.  he believes it is best that i continue finding time to be creative in whatever medium i need to ~ writing, photography, sewing, etc.  i told him i always would.  i will always miss my Dragon.  it has been 3 years, 4 months.  time has not dimmed the ache.

i saw this series of pictures of a male bird trying to revive his mate.  the photographer who sat and took the pictures said the male waited beside his mate for hours crying, calling, nudging her.  hours.  the intensely interested photographer said he waited and watched.  the male finally flew away but within 20 minutes had returned and protected his mate from anyone who walked too closely to her.  the photographer wrote that he finally braved the pecking and picked up the little female and buried her at the base of a tree.  the male flew up and waited for him to finish and step away, then he flew back down to sit on the ground beside the freshly overturned dirt.  the photographer left and came back the next day.  the little bird was still there but with fresh bread crumbs having been thrown at him by passersby.  people has seen and knew what had happened.  the photographer returned everyday for two weeks.  popcorn, bread crumbs, and even a little pan of water had been left for the male bird.  everyone was trying to comfort and offer their support for the tiny creature.  he continued to sit there beside the little grave of his dead mate.  people stood and watched him, and talked.  no one had seen him fly anymore.  dogs were kept away when walking past so as not to stress him further.  finally, one day, the photographer did not see the male sitting there.  the pan of water was gone but in its place was another fresh pile of dirt that had been overturned.  a small popsicle cross was in the dirt between the two mounds.  written on it was "together forever."

the male bird stayed with his dead mate for two weeks.  that is a long time for an animal that most people claim does not have a soul, does not even have feelings, to grieve and mourn.  it was also a remarkable testament to the average, everyday person to notice something extraordinary in nature.  no one tried to get the male to move on.  they did encourage him to take care of himself.  how the male bird passed is a mystery to the photographer and now to me, and you.  but his remains were taken care of respectfully.

i don't sit beside my Dragon's urn.  i don't sit and mourn, cry, and not go out.  i work.  i laugh.  i try very hard to endear myself to strangers.  strangers are all that like me well enough.  i am fantastic, intelligent, wonderful, incredible in small doses.  but for the long haul, only my Dragon.

only my Dragon.

only my Dragon.

what death takes away..........

the further away the tides of time take me from the sound of his voice, and the warmth of his touch, i have to be honest and say, i have no earthly clue why he loved me.  and now, i never will.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


there was a comment left on my last posting, one about finding love.  and she knows there will never be anyone but my Dragon.  no, she wrote to me about finding my love of life again.

i used to love life so much; the moon, the sky, dogs walking along the road or the beach on some private doggy agenda, seeing the gulls fly overhead, standing on a bluff overlooking Gloucester Harbor on a frigid New Year's Day watching a dory sail safely home with a huge Nor'easter on his stern.

i used to love life so much.  there are the wonderful smells of fresh flowers and fresh salt air, and horses, friendly horses who love to have their manes finger-combed and their ears scratched, and kisses put on the velvety end of their noses.

but i need to get outside.  the things that make me happy, that make my soul sing are all outside.  i don't like shopping.  i don't care that much about going to the movies.  dining out is nice but it doesn't make me feel alive.  it doesn't make my heart feel any joy.  walks do.  long walks around places that have spirit, natural beauty; place where others have found some kind of meaning to life.....
there are little public parks and walkways around here but they bustle with runners and joggers and are filled with smoke.  yeah, a lot of the runners and joggers here smoke, or chew and spit.  there's tobacco juice stains all around the paths.  that odor rising in the heat doesn't lend itself to meditation.

but i saw a touch of beauty yesterday morning while making that long drive to work.  it gets a little bit rural and there are stands of trees.  the morning sky had low clouds from heavy rains the night before but they were lifting with the sun.  and i saw fog, or clouds......wisps of white moisture rising to the sky like spirits on their way home.

they glistened and shined and swirled like gentle whirlwinds.  and i swear that one of them, for a moment, looked like a dragon.  the whole scene was ethereally beautiful.  they thinned out as they climbed to the sky and then disappeared into the Heavens.  i was in awe and wished i had had my camera.  but i know i will remember this bit of visual magic and mystery for a long time.

this vision and what someone wrote to me about maybe finding my love of life again has me knowing i need to find the outside again.  i need to find a place where i can be away from people.  i want to walk and be with the things that are free and simple and naturally beautiful.

grief has almost killed me.  his death has left me staggering under the weight of knowing i'll never have him back again.  but nature is still out there.  the outside is still there waiting for me.  i'm going to go outside and find it.

and who knows, maybe i'll feel my Dragon's love better with a freer mind.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

the inconstant moon of my life

O swear not by the moon, th'inconstant moon
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.  

i will swear by the moon though it is inconstant.

it is my lifelong companion now and means so much to me.

i watch it as it seems to watch me.

as God does not answer me, neither does my moon.

my "inconstant moon" is one that is forever a fixture in my heart and mind.

waiting for it to be full, i worry about cloud cover and yet,

and yet, the clouds provide such a sight if they move with the wild abandon of a fearless night.

but my nights are both welcomed and feared for dreams or lack of rest.

the double-edged sword of getting the sleep i need against the dreams that might come

versus the lack of rest i need to hold the demons of insomnia at bay.

i love the moon.  i hate what it reminds me of.

but it is the only thing in my life that allows me to speak about him.

it is the only thing in my life that offers no advice, only keeps vigil with me for the countdown of my life.

i need him, still.

i wish he were here, still.

i miss him, still.

i always will, i think.

i was asked when would i take off my rings, allow the world to see me as a single woman.

i said, "but i am not single in my heart.  rings off, rings on, my heart is taken,

so i might as well keep the wall up that the rings represent until such time as he leaves me from there, too."

the way i feel at this time, it would hurt me more to force myself to live and think of myself

as a single woman, than to let my memories of him haunt me as they do.

so the moon and i continue our vigil over each other.

and when i am very old and frail,

i will carefully, slowly, ease my weariness and aches outside each night of the full moon

so i can gaze upwards and pine for,

speak to,

weep for what i cannot ever have again in this life.

and in my elderly befuddled mind,

i will call out to him and hope my beautiful, fierce Dragon,

who is curled up on the dark side of the moon,

will peer around its cold, silver-whiteness to gaze back down at me.