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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

a thousand ways i miss you ~ finis

a thousand ways i miss you.

you were always there for me as i was always there for you.
i was your shadow; always gazing at you because i found you so handsome.
i adored your stories and hung on your every word.
you asked for absolution for your years of service, and i told you
you were my hero.
you still are.

a thousand ways i miss you.

your back hurt and i gave you gentle massages, and i felt needed.
your feet hurt and i caressed them, and i could see you relax.
your body hurt and i rubbed the tension away so you could sleep.
i took care of you mentally, physically, and spiritually,
and then i lost you.
and i worry that you are safe and happy, and waiting. 

a thousand ways i miss you.

you died and left me here to spend evenings in silence,
mornings wistfully, and long days knowing i can't tell you about them.
you passed away but not gently.  i could not save you.  no one could.
you expired and there was nothing i could do but let you go.

a thousand ways i miss you,
and one question i ask myself, 
but not out loud.

i wonder if you're accepting your death better than i am.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

a thousand ways i miss you

 a thousand ways i miss you.

seeing your eyes crinkle when you smiled.
watching you while you were lost in thought.
admiring the sunlight on your hair.
gazing at your lips when you spoke.
all these moments are memories now.

there are thousands of things i miss.

starting to talk about the same thing at
the same time using the same words,
and catching ourselves, and laughing.
your hand on the small of my back as you
guided me in front of you, then holding my hand
after we got inside.
watching you drive, looking down at your hand on my leg.
we were never not touching each other.
i miss that.

a thousand ways i miss you.

the simple everyday things we did,
talked about; it's all over.
the nights, and afternoons,
and mornings, of loving, are all gone.
you, you are all gone.  no more a physical presence
in my life.
no more fooling myself that you are "just away."
no more illusions.  no more delusions.
you lay down and died and i miss you more as time passes.

thousands of ways i miss you.

you don't have a key to my apartment, but your
shoes are in the closet, and your clothes are in the dresser.
i no longer get mail in your name and that bothers me more than when i got mail in your name.
you never lived here with me and yet i have kept signs of your existence all around.
hundreds, millions! ~ thousands of ways i miss you.
i am less without you.

a thousand ways i miss you.

going to bed alone at night knowing your warm body is gone.
opening the refrigerator door to see an almost empty pitcher of tea,
knowing it's up to me to make more.
some days are over bright and the sunlight is harsh.
rainy days are lonely without you to talk to.

a thousand ways i miss you.

waking up to the cruelty of the alarm
facing another morning, another day without you.
laughing at a show on television and turning to look at you ~
oh, yeah.
crying over a song lyric and turning to find your arms ~
having something nice happen, or something bad, coming home to tell you
all abut it ~ so i tell the dogs and tell myself they understand.

i miss you in a thousand ways.

my feet hurt to high Heaven, but that's where you are,
so you can't rub my feet.
 my shoulders ache and burn, but
i can't massage my own shoulders.
my calves cramp and i can massage them, but not like you can/could.
your hands were strong.
and oh, my stars, my hands hurt,
especially the one i broke.
i wish you could rub my hands.

but you can't.

{the next one is for you.}

Friday, April 20, 2012

no one to miss me when i'm gone

all quite suddenly, i disappeared from online.  it's been 10 days.  11 if you count today.  it wasn't a planned absence.  nothing i could announce would be happening.  my hard drive crashed and died.  i lost everything ~ all my photos.  it was  over in a heartbeat.

it mimicked my husband's death.  one minute he was smiling, getting into bed.  we were cuddling, kissing, saying good-night.  the next he seized, and then he died.  i lost everything ~ my breath, my friend, my companion, my lover.  it was also over in a heartbeat.

the next day my cell phone died.  it was very sudden and frightened me.  i tried to find a pay phone.  did you know that pay phones are almost a thing of the past?  a stranger saw my distress and offered their cell phone for me to call her.  so for 10 days i used the phone at work to speak to her real quick before i left work.  no long conversations.  i got my new cell in the mail from my son yesterday.  i got it charged up and called her last night at 10 PM.  we talked for an hour.  but my cell phone dying?  so sudden.  so shocking.  it was over in a heartbeat.

in all 3 cases i was left without a voice.  after my Dragon died, i thought i had found a voice that would be heard by writing here, and leaving photos and comments on Facebook.  i thought i left enough of an impression that people looked for me; in fact, would comment or email if i disappeared.  that did not happen.  no one asked.  no one left a comment wondering about me except one woman but it took me being absent for 8 days.  if these were physical friends, and i was a childless widow, and it was me who had died rather than my computer, i would hate to think how long it would take for someone to find my body.  it is a little depressing to realize i would not be missed.  losing the ability to really talk with my daughter was harrowing.  we missed each other so much.  she would call me at work and we tried to talk a bit.  i'd call her, but we were both at work and busy.  we could not talk like we always have.

i have worked so hard to establish friendships.  i have done and given of myself so much.  i am intelligent.  i am empathic.  i am always there for others, doing whatever i can.  but it has not worked out, or been enough.  i have ended up being told i fall short.  one woman told me i did not have enough money to be a friend to her.  well, i am working very hard and i have a bit of extra money to go to lunch or to a movie.  i have a car, too.  no one has to come pick me up.  but these women are all gone.

the people i have "met" online, are just that; online.  if i disappeared it wouldn't impact their lives not one whit.  i am nothing but words on a computer screen.  and my words mean nothing.  which is sad since i choose them so carefully.

i miss having a friend.  i miss the idea of one.  the utopia friend ~ one who notices me and wants to listen to me, have tea with me, go shopping with me, laugh with me, go to the movies with me, tell me her secret thoughts, who would lean on me as i could lean on her; someone who would care if i suddenly wasn't there.  someone who "if i was never there again, would never be the same."  someone who would call my daughter, who had her number to call and check on me, on things.  someone who would come to my funeral.

i was developing a friendship with a widow but her son is now very sick and she needs to be with him.  i miss her and worry for her.  i hope she is okay, and that her son is improving.  but my last email went unanswered and i have tried to call.  of course, that was 10 days ago before everything died.  i will try again now that i have electronics back.

i had a friend at church, who died.  i miss her and i sit alone at church right now.

i was working on a friendship with a widow, but it was more she was leaning on me.  i kept encouraging her to speak to a professional but she refused.  she committed suicide just before Christmas and it made me feel like i failed her.  at her funeral, her son told me he felt the same way.  it was a miserable experience and one i still grieve over, and second guess everything about.

with the death of my computer i lost contact with a world i had believed noticed me.  i lived under the delusion that people looked for me as much as i looked for them.  when i got my rebuilt computer back, i found only that one comment on Wednesday, but nothing else.  i have left no ripples.  i have had no impact at all.  my words, my photos of Bunny, my photos of my tiny little corner of the world mean nothing to anyone.  it has made me realize that the friends i had thought i had made on the other side of my computer screen have lives with their own friends who are real in the physical sense.  they go places, take trips, have large families; they live more important lives than i do.  they impact the world in a huge way and me, a Bunny face onscreen?  i am only the Bunny Lady who gives awesome parties at work, and who gives touching, funny, meaningful heart ceremonies.  the Bunny Lady is only that.  i make one moment in time pretty good.  but there is no lasting impression.  yeah, people come back to find me there, but if i never show up again, they won't miss me.

this is a realization that makes me want to find a friend.  i cannot force it though.  it has to just be the right time for it.  a woman will meet me and we will have something in common.  she will accept that i am fairly poor.  i can pay my bills but i walk on eggshells when it comes to money.  she won't ask me to make a bunch of stuff for her for free.  she will simply want to hang out with me.  we will talk about our husbands.  she doesn't have to be a widow.  she can be anything.  we just need to connect and care about what happens to each other.  all i want is a friend.

someone to notice when i'm gone.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

walking along the edge

big changes coming up in my life.  i accepted a promotion and a new store.  yes, it is official.  i think i'm going to make it financially.  if i'm smart and keep my belt very tight, no vacations, no splurges, just work and save and keep my bills paid, and then keep working, i think i'll be alright.

i wish i could tell him about it.  i wish .......  i do wish a lot.  i do dream a lot.  or day dream.  i make them up.  when i lay down to try and fall asleep, i pretend i still live beside the ocean.  i pretend i have a beautiful home and, in my head, as i try to relax and fall asleep, i decorate it in my head.  i sit with him on my glass porch, or my patio overlooking the ocean.

i miss the ocean and those words fall short of the emotions that back them.  i long for the sound.  i crave feeling the wind on my skin.  i wish i could smell the salt.

the reality is i had to leave the ocean.  i moved the day of my Dragon's funeral.  in that place that i go to in my heart to escape my reality, i am still there.  instead of moving away from where my Dragon and i lived, i stay along the edge of the ocean.  it's just over there.  it's just past the Mall where i work.  it's beyond the trees of where i live.  i can hear it on the wind, just behind it, through it.

bad things have happened to me since my Dragon died.  people have hurt my feelings deeply and there are new scars.  medical things have taken a turn for the worse, but i am handling it.  old fears are joined by new worries.  there are storms in my life that keep me on my toes, never relaxing at all.  not for a moment.

and when i am down, or simply when i come back from a very long day at work, i vividly remember his death.  i feel guilt for not being able to save him.  i have to turn off aspirin commercials when there is a couple sitting there holding hands talking about "surviving the widow maker."

  i cry.
i do not feel i have climbed out of where my sudden widowhood tossed me.  i am ambling around down here in this canyon smelling the flowers, sewing lots of things, talking to my Dragon, laying down when i am tired so i can cry and look at the moon.

then the next day i get up and amble forward through my own personal canyon of grief.

as i said, i don't think i'm climbing out or moving away from my Dragon.  i am over his death but i'm not.  i have days where i think of him and i am wistful.  i smile, yes, but it is a melancholy smile.    it is a lonely smile.

when i am back at the apartment, and i look at his urn on the mantle, i still get choked up.  what is left of him, his physical form, the form that i held and kissed and touched, is in there.  that's all that's left of him.  

and i grieve again.
it hits me all over again.

i got this job offer and i called my daughter.  i talked to my son.  both are so very proud and happy for me.  and then i opened the door to my apartment and i told my two dogs.  he was not there to sweep me up and kiss me.  i ate a celebration supper by myself.  and it's going to be like that for the rest of my life.  whatever that life means.

i stay beside the ocean in my head.  it is out there and one day i will actually drive myself over to it, walk along a beach again, walk out into the water and let it wash over me.  i will pick up shells again.  i will feel the breeze, smell the salt, hear the gulls.  i will taste it all with my heart and soul.  and in that sunshine will be his warmth.  in that wind i will hear his voice.  in the water that caresses me, i will feel his touch.  in the freedom beside that ocean i will be free.  i will be with him.  i'll stand in the ocean and close my eyes and he will be with me.

all the variable will be in place.  and for that brief moment i won't be alone.

i'll walk along the edge of the ocean in my head for the rest of my life and feeling close to my Dragon is the reason why.