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 21, 2013

flashlight in the dark

i lay there and hope it's not real; that i'm not really awake again/still.
if i use the flashlight it will only be for a little while.
it's not for long.
i'm not getting up but i do have things on my mind that i need to get off my mind.
writing them down will help.

bad nights wear me out but they are productive.
when i do this the dogs move closer to me.  they cuddle.
first it's, "does she suddenly have a snack?"
then they know.
you can almost see it pass between them.
"you think she's cold?"
"yeah.  she's pretty miserable.  let's make a mommy sandwich."
so they deepen their cuddle.  i can feel their bodies squirm and twist as they snuggle down to get still closer to me.

he was always so warm.  i never wore socks to bed.  he would keep my feet between his legs.  or i would move my feet close and he would capture them to warm them.  he always knew.
and he burned so brightly.  he was always so warm to the touch.

Lord, i miss him.
i'd love to talk to him, have him embrace me and lend me some of his confidence, his bravado, that something-something that he had that kept him going on the worst days, his worst days when he was a Marine trying to survive and get home.
Lord, i really do miss him.

so under that soft light, i write what's on my mind.
a fantasy grocery list for a day when i have enough money to go.
things i need to take care of at work.
things i want to remember.
thoughts i have.
like this blog.
little notes to myself because i don't want to forget.
secret things that the cold light of day would diminish.

Christmas is coming.  i have worries.
busy time/stressful time for retail people.
worried about meeting the new higher rent that will start up on Jan. 1.

i wish things had turned out differently.  and i am glad certain things didn't.
but writing them down on a scrap of paper lit by a flashlight in the dark seems to make them more manageable.  it makes it seem like maybe i'm coming up with a plan to deal with them.
like maybe, just maybe, by some form of Grace, i might survive this.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

grief is not a dirty word

i haven't written in a long while for me.  i haven't known what to say though my mind is whirling with thoughts i want to express.  i've also been very busy at work and very tired at the end of each day.

a few postings ago someone left a comment saying i am clinically depressed and need to be under a doctor's care.

it scared me.  it angered me.

it scared me because i am sad at losing my husband, still, and it's been over 4 years.  i started second-guessing what i know best.  me.  i do not think i am clinically depressed.  what i am is frightened at my precarious financial position and wishing with all my heart to be with him; to be with my friend, my husband, someone i feel {felt} safe with.

depressed?  i think at some time or other we all get depressed.  and it's not for a few days.  it can be a winding road if you are going through a major life change, like the death of a loved one.   i am not clear on why there is a deadline on being over a death.  why is it so many people think there is a clear demarcation line for grieving to be over with it.

grief is not a dirty word.  i can think of other words that are worse.

my son died 31 years ago at the age of 19 weeks.  i still think about him.  i would say, yeah, i still grieve over him.  i went on to have 2 other children.  i laughed.  i cried.  i lived.  but i still think about him.  i have a little fuzzy star that hung over his crib tied to my bedpost.  it plays "Twinkle twinkle little star."  it's 31 years old.  it's stained.  tears mostly.  very old tears.  and yes, after 31 years, i will turn the tiny key to hear it play a few notes.  maybe once or twice a year.  not every night.  but, yes, i still play that little start, and tears do come to my eyes.

am i clinically depressed over his death?  no.  i am a mother who holds his memory dear and i miss him.  i miss what he could have become.  i miss.........i miss him.  i still grieve his passing.

do i need pills to balance the chemicals in my brain?  i think this person misunderstands this blog.  i think they misunderstand the freedom, the release that comes from writing.  i can be honest here, express the real feelings i have that go through my mind.  i can get it all off my chest, out of my mind.  i can expunge the poison.   

depressed?  maybe.  possible.  but a danger to myself?  no.  i know i am not.  i suffer.  i grieve for what was.  i miss him.  i need his advice, his humor, his confidence that everything will be okay; but i do not need to take pills to get over feeling this way.  why would i want to sidestep grief and the deep honor of working through it, however long it takes?

and yet, am i wrong?  i am clinically depressed?  is my analysis of my own feelings so far off base?

it angered me.  that someone would think from the few postings they may have read, that they can diagnose someone else.  how sure of themselves and yet, how can someone be that sure of themselves.  how can they truly know, just from what i've written here?  they do not see my eyes.  they do not hear the timbre of my voice.  they do not know me.  they do not see me at work, how i handle customers, babies, small children.  they do not see me as a manager of a store handling with confidence the multitude of things a manager has to do.

they do not know me and it would take a fairly confidence ego to judge someone, and then label them.  words are difficult to retract.  once they are out's like snatching air.  you can't.

there will always be people who think they understand, and understand better than you do, what you wrote about yourself, think about yourself.

what about just letting it be words that need to get out; expressions of feelings that need to be released, that should be heard.  once you shine a light on something, some shadow; once you see it for what it is and name it {i'm calling it grief.  i'm calling it worry over a difficult financial situation} then it sometimes ceases to be as frightening.  sometimes when you start to explain it to someone else, something dawns on you that might help.  an epiphany can strike and things are not as bad as they seem.  or if they are as bad, you as least can now write up a battle plan to survive it.

and sometimes a blog is just a blog.  i am a writer by nature.  i am a creative person.  i paint.  i sew.  i write.  i take photographs.  i design and make stained glass windows.  i feel deeply.  always have.  for the most part a creative soul is also a tortured soul.

i wouldn't trade who i am, who i know myself to be, what i feel, how deeply i feel, who i've known, and who i've lost - i wouldn't trade the ride i'm on for anything.

and i certainly won't numb it, hide it, mask it, or color it any less vibrantly with pills.

i'll be happy when i feel happy.  i'll feel sad when i am sad.

right now, tonight, i am melancholy.

i am strong enough to let myself feel weak.  i am strong enough to allow myself some time here and there to wallow.  i am smart enough to know that pouring out my heart and soul here is so much better than keeping it bottled up and swallowing it down with some pills and a glass of water.

i am a human being who has lost some people she has loved dearly and dearly wish had loved her more.  we all have to figure out how to deal with grief at some point in our lives.  meeting it head on and accepting the winding road, the roller coaster part of it, and the lingering reverberations of the pain death caused us is what adds the beautiful darker, cooler blues and violets to the palette of our lives.

having him, losing him at 19 weeks.  i wouldn't have missed it for the world.
marrying my Dragon.  losing him.  i wouldn't have missed it for the world.

no pills.  no fake sunshine and no false happiness.  i miss them both.

i won't get over it but i do have a handle on it.

my life.  my journey.  my way.

it's after 1 AM.  i'm going to bed now.  i will lay my head down on my pillow.  tonight, i will reach up in the darkness of my room to find a soft little star.  my fingers will find the tiny silver key in it's back and i will twist it a couple, maybe three times. a soft little song will play.  it's a song everyone knows.  very familiar.

"twinkle, twinkle little star.  how i wonder what you are?  up above the world so high.  like a diamond in the sky.  twinkle, twinkle little star.  how i wonder what you are?"

in my heart it plays:  "how i wonder how you are."

there is no pill on earth that can mask that kind of pain nor would i want it to.  he deserves to be remembered.  even after 31 years.  or another 31.
my Dragon deserves to be remembered and missed no matter how long......