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.

Monday, August 20, 2012

"i won't ever leave you."

"listen to the soothing sound of my words...."  someone just wrote that to me.  she told me i was brave.  i snorted when i read that.  if only you knew how afraid i am, truly, deep down inside.  but how i handle things, only knowing me of what i write here, well, everyone has opinions and perceptions. 

i wrote that i am not brave.  i am existing, not truly living.  i take each day as it comes.  i have not done anything that would show "improvement" from those first months.  i am still slumpy.  i am still self-pitying.  i am crawling through this sludge of grief by myself and i keep thinking, this person will have insight they can share.  oh, no, they have other things to do.  that person will stay with me for a bit through this.  oh, no, they are moving on to other things, other people, other projects.  okay, this person will write to me.  oh, no, things turned upside down and what started out strong just as suddenly stopped.

i cannot afford grief counseling.  i cannot afford a sounding board of a person.  so i make do by using this as my sounding board.  i walk myself through my feelings.  i do not have a friend to call on.  i work too many hours that change every week to maybe take a class to meet anyone.  i cannot depend on any consistent day off.  so i am alone in this.  after the two widows retreat thingys i've tried, {far too early in my grief journey to be anything but slumpy and mournful and exhausted and who wants to hang with that on a fabulous weekend of empowerment} and {far too busy processing and analyzing and writing about it to earn my way to feel like i connected with anyone},  i don't think i can try those again.  i am spent, worn out, whipped and embarrassed at being the widow retreat epic failure. 

how could i get a more positive experience from them?  one that lasted beyond so that i get the warm fuzzies when i think back?

i think it was because i didn't feel like i could be myself.  i could only be myself with him.

and now here is someone asking me to "listen to the soothing sounds of my words."  and i am nervous about trusting.  the words are nice and kind and very well placed.  seems rights.  feels nice.  i'll just take it slow.

but i would love to listen to someone tell me it's all going to be okay.  i would love to believe that what i am feeling - still; what i am going through - still, is normal - still.  i would love to lay my head back against the sofa and close my eyes, listen to the sounds of a cup of tea being made, and the words falling softly and gently upon my ear.  "you are brave.  you are going to make it.  you are a nice person.  i will be your friend."  would that life would let me have something like that.

but life is a journey and i guess i had my friend when i had him.  i had my love and my fun and my brief chance at happiness.  some people don't get 8 years of that.  some people don't even get one.

she said it is obvious that my soul hurts.  oh, God it hurts.  so badly.  so deeply.  i don't think i can come up with the words.  or maybe there are too many and i am afraid to start.  or i don't know where to start.  it has felt like such a long life and yet, i am really not that old.  i am only 54 and i feel 1000.  my husband told me once that when i would "go into myself," retreat to try and recenter myself, i had that 1000 yard stare he had seen in some men after a firefight.  it always broke his heart that i had known so much darkness.  he would let me lay my head in his lap and he would rub my forehead, fingercomb my hair and he would say, "i wish i could take the memories from you."

all i ever wanted was him.  all i ever wanted was a small life with a man who could love me.  and for a very brief time, i got that.  for a brief, shining moment, i had Camelot. 

i lay down at night now and i am lost in the pain.  there are times i can fall asleep and not think about anything, but my mind is, i don't know, too fast, too analytical, too much it's own brain has a mind of it's own.  the old psychology 101 experiment:  "don't think about the white polar bear."  and then how can you not think of it?  when you try so hard to be normal, to heal, to mend yourself by yourself, tell yourself, "for Heaven's sake it's been 3 and a half years.  move on.  do something with yourself.  other people have made changes.  others are writing about all they do, all they go see, their new lives and adventures; and for some, even their new loves"  but i cannot.  we were so involved with each other.  we weren't those people who finished each other's sentences.  we started out saying the exact same thing at the same time.

he is the mighty ocean drawn to my quiet beach.

he was my second husband.  he was my soul mate.  he was the one who found me in the blackest room and brought me out into the light.  he tried so hard to set me free of the flashbacks.  and then one night, lit by the silver, coldness of the brightest moon, whoosh!  gone from me.  literally gone in minutes.  so fast.  i could not save him which meant i could not save me.

how do i get over watching the life leave his eyes?  my mind hates me.  i suddenly flash on his eyes going blank.  going dull.  him just ..... going.  how do i get over watching him die like that and no amount of CPR could save him?

i want to be better.  i am trying.  i am fighting for it.  i work so hard at work.  i come back here and work so hard on other people's things.  i pretend i am normal.  i fake normalcy.  i am exhausted.  i want to do what other people are doing.  i want to take trips.  i want to go out with friends and have just a couple of hours to forget.  i want to laugh and enjoy one day, one afternoon; just have an evening where i can relax and be free of worry and pain and loneliness.  i'd love to sit and talk about loss and death and what it takes from us with someone who understands.  i want that black, morbid humor to rise up and the both of us laugh while tears fall.  i wish i could find a kindred spirit.

but what i really want is to be with him again.  i want to be with him in that space and time where the world could not encroach and try to hurt us, worry us, take from us the serenity of us simply being together. 

i am in mourning.  i am melancholy.  i seem to be making a career choice here.  artist.  bear builder.  widow.  not necessarily in that order.

i will always be, metaphorically, that woman {angel} draped over the tomb.  i will never get over this.  but i will keep going.

so new person who is writing to me, offering me soothing words and kind thoughts; you think you know but you don't.  you cannot know how humbly grateful i am for what you are saying.  it sounds nice.  thank you for writing.  i will take what i can get for as long as it lasts, and i won't find fault when you stop and move on to another project.  i know i am not truly salvageable.  not all the pieces are there anymore.

and somewhere out in the wild beyond a Dragon is saying,  

"aw, Baby, aw, my little Beach Bunny, come lie down here with me and let me rub your head and tell you how much i love you.  you're doing so great.  i am so proud of you.  aw, Baby, i wish i could take it all away.  but i'm here now and i won't ever leave you.  i promise.

i won't ever leave you alone."


Anonymous said...

I wish I could give you a hug...

judemiller1 said...

I've tried some of those things--except for taking a trip. It doesn't matter if I am in a group of people, or eating out, or whatever--none of it helps. It just makes it more lonely. And I wouldn't even want to take a trip if HE couldn't be with me. The future holds--nothingness.

Anonymous said...

I understand.

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