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.

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 



Anonymous said...

It's one of the reasons I don't comment although I've read your blog for years now - I can't presume to know you, I can only listen to what you feel compelled to put out into the blog world. I am grieving the death of a son - funny, I typed "loss" because that is the common term but I corrected it to "death" because my son is not lost. I know exactly where he is and that I will see him again. So I LIVE in the in between place, the longing and the living. I am "getting on with my life" in the sense that life moves ever forward and I am pulled with it. But not a day goes by that I don't think of him, miss him, long to hear his voice/laugh, or to feel the big over-powering crush of his hug and a kiss on my cheek. I have two other children, two grandchildren, a wonderful husband, but nothing will ever fill the hole in my world - until the day - oh that surely coming day, when I will pass through the portal of eternity and I see him standing there on the porch, waiting for me. That hole is not my whole life but it is significant and unfillable. Like you I have simply added to my daily life: 1) miss my son, 2) keep his memory alive for his niece and nephew, 3) anticipate eternity even more, everyday.

abandonedsouls said...

thank you, Nancy, for your comment. i am glad you did not censor yourself - death as opposed to loss for they are not lost. i believe as well that we will be together in the beyond, Paradise, Heaven....

i wish you peace. i wish you light.

judemiller1 said...

I've been trying to push myself past the grieving stage, but it really isn't working. I've put away his shoes by the front door and his picture that was on the shelf, but none of that keeps the feelings away. They are forever in my heart and mind. I was so proud that I hadn't cried in two weeks and then yesterday, talking to an older couple that reminded me of how Fred and I used to be and the tears poured down my face. I was embarassed and worried that I had made them uncomfortable. When you are "connected at the hip" as people use to say about Fred and I--I am unbalanced without him--like I had some part of my body amputated and I can't seem to move properly. It's just there all the time and I guess it always will be--no matter how hard I try to laugh and show people how well I am doing--it's all a farce!!!

Lonesome Dove said...

I am SO proud of you!!! This post says so much about your journey. You go, whatever direction you want and whatever pace suits YOU!!!!!


abandonedsouls said...

Judy, i won't lie to you. you'll feel like that for a long while. having said that, i will say this. you will grow use to it. you will find your ways to work around those feelings, or adapt to them, deal with them. it hasn't been a year yet. be kind to yourself. don't hurry the process or the journey because skipping over any part of it means you will meet it further down the road making you wish you had dealt with it during the first go round.

i wish you peace. i wish you comfort. i wish you restful sleep.


Lonesome Dove, =:0) <~ that's a smiley face with bunny ears, i think. maybe, possibly.

Boo said...

I don't know who has said these cruel, insensitive and (insert swear word) stupid words to you.

I'm remembering our last chat on the phone ... and reading this post has just re-iterated the fact that we had the real thing, you know. Clearly, they didn't. So in a VERY kind of messed up way, even though we will always miss them ... we were so privileged and lucky.

How DARE anyone tell YOU how to grieve? Your grief, your heart, your timeline. YOURS.



Sherry said...

The love of my life died on August 1st of this year. I am so screwed up! I relive all our moments together. I get so frustrated. One friend thinks she knows how it feels. She's never been in a long-term relationship. I get so angry with her that I'm tempted to shut down the friendship. At the same time, I know I haven't exactly been myself lately, Lately, I hate the world. Thank you for your website. You helped remind me that I'm not alone. I'll visit again. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I came across this when I googled grief - hey it was a top post! But, I searched it for a reason which I won't go into what you did here is about you, not me.

I wish I could put into words the support I feel for you right now. You are absolutely entitled to feel how you do and no, no one is allowed to diminish or take this away from you. I'm so sorry to learn about your husband and I hope things are just a little better now for you.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog when I googled "people who don't understand grief". I can't thank you enough for putting into words exactly how I feel. My beloved husband and soulmate died suddenly and unexpectedly in December 2014. And since then I feel as if I have walked the gauntlet of insensitive comments, judgemental opinions and blatant stupidity. Many people have been kind and sensitive but many have not and I feel as if I have to put in a brave face in order to defend myself against the harshness of pressure to "move on". Most of these insensitive comments seem to me to stem from everyone's opinion as to how long grief should last, and indeed, everyone has a different opinion on this. Some think 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 5 years. I understand that for one who have e pertinence the death of a loved one that they are projecting their own recovery period onto me. But it doesn't work that way. Each person's grief is unique, and this is just as it should be because our relationship with the person who died was unique. Therefore, it follows that my grief is unique to my relationship with my husband, and regardless of other's opinions, it is going to take me as long as it needs to rebuild my life. I may find love again in the future or I may not - the point here is that it is not up to others to opine on if/when or how this happens - they are not the ones who have had to rebuild their world all over again - I am the one who has to do this, somehow. Thank you for posting this blog.

Anonymous said...

Every word in this post I could relate to. I want to first say how brave it is to share your experience with loss and grief with the world, so thank you. This makes me want to talk more and not grieve in silence. Two years ago, I lost my father to cancer. Recently I "woke" to the real physical and emotional pain. It had taken a huge toll on my life. Sometimes I wander through the days not feeling connected to anything and more like a numb bubble. I have watched my mom deal with the loss and like you said people always criticize or condemn what she says and feels. Even from my own family who constantly tell her to get over it, move on, go find another man etc and etc. I've had my fair share of cruel opinions over the years and still it dumbfounds me the stupidity of people who have never lost a loved one but always feel inclined to judge how I grieve. It's so hard but when I read posts like these and hear stories from those who can relate, I don't feel so alone. So thank you and I hope that now 5 years later you are coping and living well.

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