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, November 29, 2012

2 deaths ~ 1 old. 1 new.

today it has been 26 years since my father died.

today, Buddy, my humidifier that helps me breathe at night, died.

i am affected by both in similar ways.

1. i felt safe with my father being around.  i felt safe trying to fall asleep with Buddy pumping out warm, misty air for me to suck into my scarred lungs.

2. neither asked much of me.  my father only wanted me to love him and be a good girl.  Buddy only wanted me to clean him out occasionally so his motor could run for me.

3. both gave me a clue that they were on their final days, but, like a fool, i thought i had more time.

4. i got to see my father before he died to say goodbye but i was still at a loss.  i still am.  i feel like i failed my father; like i wasn't good enough as a daughter for him to hang around longer for.  Buddy quit on me this morning and i am at a loss tonight.  i feel like i failed him.  did not not take care of him good enough?  he's no longer able to talk to me.

5. i did not ever get another father.  i will get another humidifier.  {i have to.}

i think i will name my new humidifier after my father.  Johnny.  i have no explanation why that comforts me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

make me a child again just for tonight

i've been sick with pneumonia.  pretty bad this time.  i had to take off work; use up a paid vacation day.  each time it seems like it brings me down more and more.  takes longer and longer to get over it.  right now, it's been two weeks of coughing, feverish nights, feverish days for that matter, too.  run down.  feeling like i have water in my lungs.  it's nerve racking to be sound asleep and startle awake to gasping for air.

Thanksgiving is coming up.  my daughter and her husband have to drive 2.5 hours away for that day.  i cannot go because i really don't feel up to it.  her husband's side of the family is hosting and they won't be eating until around 7 PM.  i need to be going to bed close to around that time because i need to be up and out of the apartment for Black Friday by 4:30 AM.  it would be too tough, especially feeling as rough as i do.

i'm working on a quilt project on the side for a very old woman.  doing it for free.  going to try and get it put together and quilted before Christmas.  tall order but she's waited most of her life to find someone to do it for "just the right price."  can't get better than free.  {i couldn't charge her.  she's 89 years old.  how could i look into her faded blue eyes filled with such wistful hope that someone would help her put her grandmother's quilt together?}

i lost a "friend."  she just disappeared.  won't respond to explain why.  it makes me feel hollow.  i shouldn't have believed her words.  my fault for being gullible.

backward turn backward o time in your flight
make me a child again just for tonight
mother come back from the echoless shore
take me again into your arms as of yore.

and there were a couple of occasions where she had done that.  she held me while i cried.  i wonder if she knew me now, if we could be friends?  maybe she still wouldn't want me for her daughter, but maybe just a casual friendship?

the idea of someone who cares for you unconditionally - mother, sister, husband........  someone you can talk to about things you would never speak about unless it was to them.

do you ever think of me
do you say my name
if i were 'never there again'
would you 'never be the same?' 

he told me once that he had to die first because he would not be able to live without me?  i would not want to think that he would just die if i had died first but i do wonder if he would have been as miserable?  if what he said was true.  the further i get away from the last time i talked to him, the more i wonder if what i believed about our love was true.  and then i get a feeling.  it washes over me.  a warmth i cannot explain.  it sometimes makes me sleepy and i want to go to bed. 

those nights, after those doubts, that warm feeling wraps itself around me like a flannel blanket.  and i usually have a fairly good night's sleep. 

i'm yawning now.  i've managed to stay up late enough - 8 PM.  i think it will be okay for me to take my last pills tonight, walk the dogs one last time, and then curl up in bed...............
and wait to see if that warm blanket of the memories of what we shared will help me sleep better tonight.

you're all i ever wanted and my arms are open wide

Monday, November 12, 2012

i will follow you into the dark

i watched the movie, "Hachi," the other evening.  i knew in advance what it was about but i chose to continue on that path of plot awareness.  i needed to see loyalty.  i needed to be reminded that my dogs are probably {not} going to miss me like that, be that devoted to me, should i pass away before them.  {but i do pamper my soul; tell myself that they will sit and wait for me just like Hachi.

dogs can sense when death is approaching.  it is a natural thing for them.  they are not complicated like humans.  they accept what cannot be changed.

i accept, but i do cry over it.

in all the reading i've done since he died, i have not really fond one that explores the fear, wonder, worry, curiosity of what happens when we die, after we die.  where do we go?  it is based on faith or lack of it but really, i have been thinking of this off and on ever since i saw the life leave him.  doing CPR ocer someone, knowing you are losing, seeing/feeling them "go" marks you.  well, it marked me.

what is he doing right now?  what is he thinking?  is he happy?  is there an ocean?  is he on some cloud?  can he see me?  does he know that i am sobbing as i type this?  he is alert?  cognizant?  did he keep any memories of me?  is he with his dog?  has he told my dogs i still love them?

has he met my son who died?

is there light where he is?

or dark?  just dark and empty?

i believe in God.  but.

i don't know where he is or where i will go or if i will get to be with him and eventually my two beloved children.

will i lose myself when i die; the stuff that makes me me and so irritating to the masses, yet so interesting?  {<~ that interesting part is sarcasm}  but will the thoughts i think vanish when i die?  will i know him?  will he still like me and want to hang out with me?  will will we be able to find each other?

or will it be dark?

as a child i was never afraid of the dark.  i was afraid of what was in the dark.  i was afraid of my mother.  i was afraid of my brother.  i was afraid of Voldemort.  i was afraid of all the evil that lurks out there; like the DMV if they think you filled out a paper wrong.  {got a $50 for filling out a paper in correctly so when i went tot he DMV to pay the fine the woman said, "effing ridiculous.  most people ignore that paper and you tried.  so you checked a box wrong.  no, i'm not taking the fine.  here's a receipt.  keep it in your car."  i feel like a rebel.  i feel like an outlaw.  are they looking for me?  will they find me driving down 485 some night after work and pull me over; arrest me?  see?  i worry.}

i don't mind the dark.  you can see the stars at night.  you can see the moon.  the night breeze can be soft or wildly blowing leaves that crinkle and sound crisp, much like potato chips on a plate.

when i die, will i be okay, finally?  after all i've been through, will i be okay?  will i be safe?

when i die will there be that light and will i hear his voice?  will i feel that old familiar calloused roughness of his hand clasping mine, pulling me towards him, towards an eternity of love and safeness {i don't think that's a word but i'm crying and i don't care}?

i have written 3 books.  a friend of my daughter's is an English professor at a university.  she sent him a burned CD of one of my books.  he said he despised my ability to write as i do.  he told her he has tried to write like that all his life.  he also said i was, and i quote, "a shining golden god in a kingdom of mice, who is afraid of the mice."  he told her to tell me to get off my shy butt and start searching for a literary agent.  i don't know where to start searching or how to do it that my work won't get stolen.

so question, forget this life, what about the next?  will i lose my mind when i die?  will i lose everything?  will i close my eyes and there will be nothing?  will God forget me?  abandon me?  send me to Hell for the things i've thought?  wanted to do ~ the bad things like tell someone off?

there are times, God forgive me, when i sleep in on Sundays.  i hurt physically so badly, am so exhausted that i stay in bed.  i pray every day, but is that enough?  will He really accept my excuses?

or will He, seeing as i am not an entirely heinous person, just leave me to fumble around in the dark?

as long as i don't run into my mother, or my ex, or threats from the DMV, or people from work, maybe walking around an empty landscape in the dark for eternity will be my own kind of peace.

"if heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied, illuminate the NO's on their vacancy signs.  if there is no one beside you when your soul embarks, i will follow you into the dark."

 i'd like there to be light.  i'd like there to be snow in the Winter and warm Summer breezes.  i'd like the crinkly, potato chip sound of leaves falling in the Fall, and the smell of flowers and fresh cut grass in the Spring.  i'd like there to be an ocean with the water swelling over stones that sounds like the rattling of bones.

but if that is not what i have earned, then i will follow him.  into the light.  into the dark.  i will close my eyes here and start my search for him there.  and if that search takes an eternity, searching for my dogs, waiting for my children, calling out to him, i will at least be spending my eternity doing something.  my soul has a calling.  i want to be with my family and my dogs.

the scenes in the movie of Hachi's face as he aged, the whiteness of his fur as he got older and older, so magnificent.  the intentness in his eyes as he heard the whistle of the train and his steadfast gaze on the door as people spilled out.  and his sadness, his loneliness as he settled back down to wait for the man who would never come back was gut wrenchingly, poignantly beautiful.

people move on.  dogs can grieve forever.  the other day i called out for Carl.  and both my dogs leap off the bed and raced to the door of the apartment.  Carl has never been in this apartment, but they ran to meet him because i called out for him.  i felt like a dick.  they came racing back to bed and cuddled around me.  they laid across my legs as if to say, "we'll lay on top of her so she won't go away."

i don't want to suffer anymore.  i don't want any more pain.  i would like the afterlife to be peaceful and calm and surround by my children {eventually} and my dogs, and in his arms.  i want to hear his laugh again.  i want to walk with him again.

i want to die and then my soul soar to him and a few fuzzy faces who dance and race to meet me.  who lick my face and rub their noses against my skin.

i want to be met.  greeted.  even if i do follow everyone into the dark, at least we will all be together.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

far too tired ~ part 2 ~ the search for peace

i am struggling.  worries and fears overwhelm me at this time.  i've got things going on at work.  things going on in my personal life.  too much and i am so very tired.

sleep, when it comes, does nothing for me.

personal life:  i've written the VA about my new position, the raise, and i've heard nothing.  i called late last summer and was told that since i wrote the letter, they will process and send me a letter letting me know of any adjustments.  i've still heard nothing and suffer severe anxiety each month, waiting to see if they send me my stipend.  it's going to end.  i know it.  but living in limbo is crushing me.  i struggle and do nothing ~ I DO NOTHING extra.  no movies.  no clothes.  nothing that is not absolutely crucial to my existence.  and i miss fun.

personal life:  i wouldn't mind a friend but the alternative to that is being afraid to find a friend.  haven't had any luck down here with friends.  i'm too poor.  i'm now too busy.  i'm too exhausted to be any good to anyone.  

personal life:  i'm lonely.  i miss him.  i haven't taken off my wedding rings.  i see men coming into the store and i feel nothing.  they are not attractive.  they are not interesting.  nothing stirs inside me.  i miss HIM.  i love him.  i trusted him.  he knew everything about me.  he was too much of everything my heart desired.  he was, flawed as he was, he was too perfect.

personal life:  still working on that quilt.  so much work.  i need to get up the courage to ask her for more money laying out the amount of work she has added to this.  i call this quilt Sisyphus.  i thought i was close and it came rolling back down over the top of me.  so much more work  

work:  i've got a girl who is a part time manager who has become arrogant and a finger-pointer when anything goes wrong.  and it's all her.  at the core of every drama, it's her.  when i speak to her she instantly becomes overly agitated and loud.  she paints herself as a victim and i hate that.  we're going to have a BIG meeting with my boss and my boss's boss, and my other two managers.  it's going to be a meeting of whose going to throw everyone under the bus as far and as fast as she can.  in other words, i think i might have my first drink of alcohol since my diabetes diagnosis immediately after this meeting.

work:  long drive.  longer hours.  young people who have no work ethic.  it's disheartening.

and i am not ungrateful for my job.  i love it.  but this are thorns on roses.  puppies nip.  to make those beautiful flowers grow it must rain.  life is good but people can suck.  love is great and then they die.

i search for peace.  i take too heart too much what people say to me.  i'm not complaining.  i'm relating here what i would curl up beside my beloved husband and say.  i have no other recourse.  it's a way to talk it out and see it.  i read back over what i've written and i can say, "okay, it's out there.  someone knows.  he knows.  i'll find my way.  i'll find guidance, support, my path."

death is an artist.  i wrote this on someone's blog or on Facebook somewhere.  but i think of death now as an artist.  it is a sculptor changing our minds, our way of thinking, molding us into different people than we were before that horrible moment when we turned about and went home alone.

death is a whittler.  it shaves off and out of our lives the people who have closed minds.  it whittles away the people who refuse to understand, or who refuse to stay beside us even while they admit they don't know what we're feeling.  not being able to feel what we are feeling is fine.  admit that and stay with me.  listen to me.  hold my hand.

bring me a cup of hot tea and be silent with me because, as long winded as i can be,

sometimes it still hurts to much to talk.  or worse, i don't know how to put in into words.

would that i had a place where i could go, a shrine or altar that i had created that was simple and profoundly sacred.  i could go there and sit and just be.  not think.  or think.  pray.  sigh.  not read so much as remember poems, psalms, words of wisdom drawn from the myriad of places i've gotten them from.  but i have a place i go to.  that room up there is in my head.  when i close my eyes for even a moment, if i need this place, it's there for me.  i pretend it's all mine in my fantasy house.  i go downstairs and look out the windows at the ocean.  then i turn and light the candles and i contemplate peace.  i try to empty my mind of all the anguish and just focus on the good.  him.  my children.  my dogs.  what i am thankful for.  i try to re-center myself to face all the drama and the worries of THIS world.  

one foot here in this world but my eyes on the later.  i read a book i won't speak to here. it has changed me.  changed my opinion of a few things.  me mostly.  i'll write about it some other time, after my thoughts about it are more cohesive.  

for now, the search for peace continues.  

i wish it for all of you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

far too tired

“it’s probably my job to tell you life isn’t fair, but i figure you already know that. so instead, i’ll tell you that hope is precious, and you’re right not to give up.”
― C.J. Redwine, Defiance

but my God, in between the not fair and the fight hanging on to hope and not giving up, there is a lot of tired; the kind of tired that a good night's sleep cannot take care of. 
the Bun is very tired.