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, August 2, 2012

August ~ laying down and ending the struggle

i give up.

i am not going to fight this anymore.

i have tried to do what i was told;
how to live, how to be a good friend to other people {keep giving more and more,}
what's wrong with me {not giving enough and being too sensitive,}
but mostly,
how to grieve

i saw an article posted on Facebook.
what grievers cannot do.  i thought, "here i am."

1. greivers cannot get over it.  "grief has no closure.  it is lifelong."
thank you.  thank you for that.

2. grievers cannot move on.  "they can move forward but they will never forget their loved on."
thank you.  thank you for re-terming the moving on/continuing life thing.

3. grievers cannot be their old self again.  we are irrevocably changed. forever.
thank you.  {on my knees saying...} thank you for saying that.

4. grievers cannot stop hurting.  "the hard truth is that painful feelings of grief will arise again and again over the years."
coming up only <~~ see that?  ONLY 3 and a half years, and i hurt, i HURT.

i miss him.  i want him here with me.

Bunny/me finished painting Bunny's car.  the passenger side is the night of a full moon.
it has Dickinson's quote about death on it.

"Death is a wild night and a new road."

my new life here without him is a wild night every day and always a new road.
different things happen everyday that i want to talk to him about.

i was sick this week.  i worked but i was sick.  before my shift yesterday i went to the doctor.
he ran a liver test to see if the medicine was making me sick.
i have been waiting here, my day off, all day, to see if he would have to call me with bad results.
he said he would get the results today and call me if there was a problem.
it is not 10 minutes to 7 PM and i have not heard from him so i am guessing i am okay.
just a virus.

but i needed him.  i needed him and he couldn't be there for me like he always was.
i hope he wasn't looking down at me and worrying about me worrying myself to death here about
something i cannot, canNOT control.

i need him but he cannot come help me, be with me, hold me, comfort me,
sleep with me, live the rest of our lives together.

after reading that article i am laying myself down in that crevasse i have fallen into.
there is a kind of comfort is laying down with your grief.  i accept that he has died.
he died under my hands as i failed in the CPR.
i saw the light, the life leave his eyes and i had to control the screams in my head and heart.
i had to stop myself from begging him not to go.
so i told him over and over that it was okay.  that i love him.  that i always will love him.
and he died before the paramedics got there.
 when we walked all over the island, he never went that far ahead of me that he didn't keep me in sight.  he would say, "i knew you weren't close."
i asked him once how he knew.  the wind in the leaves, the sounds of the surf, whatever noise masked our footfalls, how did he know i had stopped to take a photograph.
"i couldn't feel you.  you are part of me.  you are my heartbeat, my little Beach Bunny.  i'll always know if you're not close to me."
{for a big tough Marine he could be poetic.}

his heart stopped under my hands.  not only could i not feel it, i could not get it started again.
no one could.

he left our life together on a cold, wild night of a full moon.
fourteen below.  5 feet of snow on the ground.

after reading that article i realize it's okay to be me.  a few people have told me it's okay to be
like i am, missing him as i do,
but i've never heard it expressed like this, exactly like this from an expert?

so i am going to lay down and let go of the struggle to "move on,", "get over it," "stop hurting so much," and "stop living in the past."
i am going to keep the photos up.  keep the urn on the mantle with his medals and the folded flag.
i am going to lay down in the soft grass of my grief and stare at the sky.
i am ending my struggle to conform.

here is my little manifesto

i am a widow and i am grieving.  i will grieve for a long time.
i will do it my way.
i will do whatever brings me solace and comfort in a world that no longer has either.
i will think of him, talk about him, and talk to him.
i will love him forever.
i will probably, most likely, most assuredly never date.
i will always be in love with my husband.

i am a widow of 3 and a half years and i am going to go lay down now.

i will face August ~ his birthday, the 3 and a half year mark, and our wedding anniversary
laying down.

i am through with the books and the guides and the steps and the ladders to happiness.
i had happiness.
i had him.

and if that photo of him up there is any sign,
he is waiting around for me,
because, i know for a fact
that he doesn't sense me as being too near him physically right now,
or too far away since i carry him in my soul.

please, God, let him come find me when it's my time to go.
if he can't be there to see me go as i did for him,
let him be standing there with open arms to see me coming towards him.


Unknown said...

I join with you in your manifesto - a tad different because my grief is for my son, but still he is and will be missed every day. I too lay down in that place of grief, I rest a while, acknowledge it's permanence, then get up and get on with the living of daily life. My happy days outweigh my sad - other kids, husband, grandkids make that possible. I still long for the moment when we will be reunited more than anything this life has to offer. I have found the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp to be life changing (she also has a facebook page) - just being in this moment and looking for the gifts now has settled my heart in a warm place while I await the reunion with my son. Peace to you and if you'd like a copy of the book - I'd be happy to send you one. Nancy

judemiller1 said...

I also read that article on FB--it certainly is true. It's weird because I was the one who was telling ME that I had to get over it, put the thoughts away, put all reminders on the shelf in the closet. It was ME fighting with ME--didn't work of course. I don't need physical reminders sitting out to remind me--everything is in my mind and soul. I have the book Nancy refers to--I just haven't read it yet--guess I need too. Of course they will be there--with a hand out to help us get over that space to be in their arms once again. Personally, it can't come soon enough for me. I am so tired of being here!

abandonedsouls said...

dear Nancy, thank you for your words. you and your grief are in my prayers. i lost my firstborn son when he was 19 weeks old. you never forget, never; even when you only get the smallest moment of time with them. thank you for the book recommendation. i will find a copy and read it.

Judy, oh, Lord, do i understand being tired of being here and wanting to be reunited with them. i won't rush it though and i hope neither do you. our lives have them own plan that we really do not control, obviously. you have such a beautiful family that surrounds you and friends. stay as long as you are allowed to impart your love and wisdom to them. and i will do the same. p.s. i like seeing your face appear, too. i would miss you very much.

Rebecca said...

Well, thank God for your blog and your decision to share this article on grief. I don't use Facebook so I would otherwise have missed it. These words and your manifesto gave me such great relief that I burst into tears (yet again today) but they were tears of relief. Relief that at last I have vindication for how I feel, for my stubborn love for my dead husband, for my insistence that I still feel like David's wife and most likely, most assuredly will continue to feel that way. Thank you womannshadows for this gift. It gives me the strength to be myself and feel how I damn well feel no matter how inconvenient, unpleasant, or "abnormal" it might be.

Anonymous said...

It is a comfort to know there are others out there, who share my feelings and way of grieving. We were blessed, and then cursed. I like to think that there is a redemption for this suffering... that i will hold her again... more splendidly than I could ever hold her here... and once again hear her say, "I feel safe".

Honyb50 said...

Thank you for making my grief seem normal. I buried my husband 2 days ago. My love will never die and most assuredly I will never marry again. Yesterday I tried to go to work-can't do it. I know it's too soon, but I am in dire financial straights and I need to get the finances in order. Else wise I will lose all that we have worked so hard for. He not only taught me a trade. He taught me love, honor, and the power of redemption. He was my hero and I will love him all the days of my life.

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