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.

Friday, July 27, 2012

more Art of Grief to shield herself against August

Bunny has been working and working on a Memory Quilt.  it is the third for this woman.  the first two were for her sons. this one is for her.  she sent me a photograph from a website of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with a sailboat sailing under the bridge.  she wanted it on one of her husband's shirts.  Bunny has worked for months and months.

and months.
 finally, just this evening, she has finished it.  just this part.  this one shirt.  there are thousands and thousands, and thousands of stitches in this one piece.
 whew!  Bunny is taking the night off.

and working on her car!!
that's right.  before the Bun moves on to the next part of this quilt, she's gonna paint her car.

see that big photo up there?  she bought paints; good paints, well, quazi-good paints. but paint that beats the dollar store paint all to heck.

ooooooooooo, you can see that Bunny's already got some nice paint splatters on her work shirt.

hang around, or come back sometime to see the finished product.
the Bun loves being creative.  she can hide from her pain and ignore those twinges of wanting to look up and show her Dragon what she's working on.  if she does forget and look up,
she tells herself she was just showing the dogs.

August is coming.
August is his birthday.
August is the 3 and a half year mark.
3 and a half years.
3 and a half y-e-a-r-s.
{Bunny looks around her and looks inside her heart and wonders why it still hurts to badly.}
August is our wedding anniversary.
August is a,
let's just say that August is a 
difficult month
for Bunny.

"may you live a thousand years and i a thousand less one day,
that i may never know when you have passed away."

Saturday, July 14, 2012

to the people who don't understand

here are some words to the people who don't understand.  be forewarned.  there will be sarcasm.

some of them may also be widows, widowers, people who have lost someone dear to them.  some of these people don't understand those of us who do grieve for a while longer than expected, than is the norm.  outside influences may affect the grief journey.  yes, it's true.  it shouldn't be big news.  sometimes medical issues and/or financial issues may exacerbate, or hinder, the "wishing they were here" part of this life without them.

some people feel such a bond with their loved one who died that they live their lives missing them, talking to them, and even creating great works for themselves to help bring about comfort and closeness to them.

some people spend their lives living, yes, i'll say living because if we get up, go to work, raise our children, are involved in the community, we are living.  people who have read my blog have left comments about others they knew who grieved/missed/"didn't move on with their life" as some are want to put it.

"I don't know if I ever told you, but my Grandmother was widowed at 48--she never "dated"--said she never would. Roy was her life--she always felt like he was just around the corner. She was a widow for 30 years and yet a happy person. She didn't need any other man then Roy in her life.

The day she died, she sat up in bed, looked at the door, smiled and said, 'Roy has come for me', laid back and died. I know for a fact that my grandfather came to get her and walk home with her."

some have left me quotes that they agree with and feel inspired by.  they either understand this particular journey that i am on, or they accept that i am on it without feeling the need to correct, criticize, or condemn me.

"I am not anxious to give you the truth. I am very anxious to have you understand that all truth and power are feeble to you except your own." - walt whitman 

i have also written in a previous blog about a man i knew.  he "grieved" his whole life and no one thought he was odd, or wrong, or "not moving on with his life" or anything bad.

i guess back in the old days of grief, it was acceptable to live, {<~~ see that word?  live}, live your life alone and missing someone.  you laugh.  you work.  you celebrate the holidays.  but you do miss the person you loved.  you do not feel the need to date or remarry or, as someone once put it to me, "go out and have sex to at least feel alive."  if i had the money i would take trips and see the world.  i would take hundreds of thousands of pictures.  and i would miss him in Rome, Paris, Edinburgh, on cruise ships, wherever i may roam.

it is perfectly acceptable, lovely, wonderful, all the good things i can say, for a widow or widower to find someone new to love, get married, even have more children.  congratulations.  i am thrilled.

it is also perfectly acceptable for me to still love and miss my husband.  this blog is mine.  it is my journal that i do hope for feedback, contact with the world at large, but do not, do not, do NOT criticize me for still loving my husband, feeling the strength of our marriage vows, not feeling the desire or inclination to date, and still missing him while i go through some of my medical issues, my worries over money, and my wistful desire to talk to him.  do not presume to have been there, even if you have.  do not presume you know my life and how i am affected by things.  you do not know what has happened before that shaped the woman i am today.  you do not really even possibly know my exact age, 54.  now you know.  yes, there are over 50 singles sites.  i'm not interested.

and if you have something that will hurt my feelings, say it with grace and gentleness or don't say it at all.  cruelty is you loving being hurtful and that speaks volumes about who you are.  i would rather be on this grief journey missing him as i do than be you in all your lofty cruel glory heaping your opinions over everyone.  they will say about me, "she loved him immensely and missed him all the days of her life."  they will say about you, "what a bitch."

that expression, you need to walk a mile in my shoes, is true.  to fully understand that expression you need to know that if you walk a mile in my shoes all the scars inflicted on my body and all my nightmares of the past will come rushing around you.  beware.  some of it is horrible.  so before you criticize a widow or a widower, whether they've "remarried too quickly" or "grieving too long and need to get on with their life," you truly need to "walk a mile in their shoes."

to the people who don't understand, who say to me, "get on with your life," i will take those words and hand them back to you.  "get on with your life." stop wasting your obviously frustrated time fretting about me.  get on with your life.  go on, and don't look back.

as for me, for right now, and as far as i can see in the distant future, i will grieve the loss of my husband.  i will LIVE, work, laugh, love my children, plan things, wait for holidays, write, take photographs, sew, paint, all that i used to do when he was alive, but i will do three more things.

1. i will miss him, love him, talk to him,
2. i will take pictures of and commune with the full moon,
and 3. i will see dragons, however subtle, in ephemeral things throughout the day.....

everyday, maybe for the rest of my life.

"Love is the only thing that we carry with us when we go......"
~ Louisa May Alcott 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

the art of grief

i've been down, really kinda scary down.  ashamed of my meager life and my little retail job.  tired of explaining that Marines don't make 6 figure salaries.  worried about my physical health.  i have a doctor's appointment about my diabetes and my broken foot and broken knee on Tuesday.

it's been three years and i miss him as much now as i did the moment he "left" me.  i remember sitting beside him in the hospital after they pronounced him gone.  i couldn't believe his body was there but he was gone.  he was gone; just gone.

i sat there holding his arm, trying to get his fingers to close around mine but it was all wrong.  he wasn't warm anymore.  and he was getting cooler.

sadly i still remember this with clarity and detail that astounds me.  but then i've always been cursed/blessed with a great capacity for memory.

i've held many jobs over my life.  when i was 16, i was a model.  i never told anyone that after i left my hometown.  but i was.  i was a little local model for a boutique.  it was my mother's idea and i always did what she told me to do.  but the one thing i have always been is an artist.  i was called a shy child, extremely withdrawn.  i wasn't really though.  i was just careful.  i never wanted to get into trouble.   when i was 7 my mother was told to get me involved in some activity after school.  i asked for art lessons.  she allowed it.  and i've never stopped being creative, artistic.

Antonin Artaud wrote:  "no one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except to literally get out of hell."
i can tell you, from my experience, that statement is true.

i still paint.
footboard of my bed that i don't use but it's leaning against the wall in my hallway with books slowly building up underneath it.  so i guess it's a glorified book end.

 the headboard that i actually use as a headboard.  i also play my ocean waves sounds to try and go to sleep with.
 my shark board.  it's leaning against the wall of my bedroom on my dresser.  i love him.  such a flawless machine.
my embroidery piece that i am working on for a Memory Quilt.  it has taken me hours and hours,
and hours and hours to do this and i am still not done.  there is still so much more shading and highlighting to do.  i'll take a photo when i am done.
and of course, Bunny's clothes and her bags i wear, the way i use her as my alter ego, is all my art.

and my words.  my writing.  it builds up inside me and i have to let it out.  i have to tell someone about what i feel.  you guys are it.  you are all i have.

i am grieving still.  i get along okay.  i am fighting this slump with all that i have inside me,
which is my love for him, and my children.  i can't let them down.
and my silly little dogs.  i love them so much.

now i need to try and love myself a little bit. more than self preservation.  more than, "i'm doing it for him and my children."  i need to try and like myself.  i need to find something inside me that my mother never saw, that my father ignored, the my brother turned his back on, that my first husband turned cold towards......
i need to find something inside me that only my Dragon saw.
my children?  aw, they love me because i am their mom.  they imprinted on me and they know i would die for them.
but me?  just me by myself?  what am i worth?
i need to collect my thoughts and remember all the things my Dragon said to me when we were courting, and we were courting right up to the moment he died.
i love him.
but i need to like me, to find something in myself i am proud of.

maybe i can be proud of my art again.
maybe i can try to pull myself out of this hell of my own creation.

get it?  i "created" my own hell?  how's that for irony?