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, May 30, 2013

the hug

there is this thing we did that i miss.
we would hug.
or more than hug, by definition, but it was a hug.
 we hugged like people imagine a hug, but we also did this one other thing,
do it this one other way.

i have had a life of being starved for human contact, for the need of being touched.
my parents did not touch us, my brother and me.  they were not affectionate people.
my grandparents would hug us, hold our hands, but our parents did not.
and oddly now that i think of it, our grandparents did not touch us in front of our parents.

my first husband hated being touched.  he hated touching me
he told me once to never touch him.  so i was very careful if we stood in close proximity.
no holding hands.  no sitting on the sofa together.  no touching.
he slept in a different bedroom and for 15+ years, i was not touched by him.

as my children grew up, i kept holding their hands, ruffling their hair, kissing their cheeks,
and hugging them.
i never wanted them to feel alone in the world.
 i never wanted them to feel worthless, or like there was something wrong with them.
there is nothing wrong with wanting a hug, or wanting to hold someone's hand.

my Dragon liked touching me.
he would hold my hand.
he would hug me.
but he would also do this one other thing.

i would lay down on the bed and he would lay down on top of me and hold me.
i would feel his big body pressing down on me.
he would nuzzle my neck and whisper in my ear,
"i love you.  you are mine and you are safe.
i will never tire of touching you.
you are my love forever and ever."

i had told him what it felt like to realize the people
who are supposed to love you to not want to touch you.
he never wanted me to feel like that again.

i feel that again.  so i close my eyes
and remember the hug.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"go glitter or go home"

Bunny was sneaky.   she hopped into her mom's backpack to go to work with her.

see, mom has been way down.  really down.
like so far down she cries all the time.
oh, no one at work knows.  but Bunny knows.
mom talks to Bunny.
so Bunny wanted to see what it was all about.
 Bunny saw.  oh, Lordy Lord Bunny saw what made her mom cry.
so Bunny did what she could to make her mom smile that day.
she jumped out of the backpack and yelled, "i love you, you crazy mom who talks to bunnies!"
mom was happy to see her.  it was like, almost like old times. 
Bunny at work with her mom.

Bunny pulled a funny.  she gathered up all the shoes that her mommy was having to damage out
and she tried them all on.
 Bunny says, "go glitter or go home."
and mommy smiled.
i miss him.  i'm really hurting and i need to talk to him.
so i do.
but it's not the same.

things are just whacked out at work.  i've got a girl who deliberately screws things up
and then does this Orwellian double-speak.  
i am having "the talk" with her on Friday.
i'm not being paid to be the manager.
i'm not being paid enough to be the assistant manager, but
i do my job, 
and the manager's job.
i hope someone's watching.
i hope something good happens sometime soon.
i'm trying to keep in mind what Bunny said.
"go glitter or go home."
keep a light heart.

i ordered the book "Heaven" that an anonymous commenter told me about.
i'm looking forward to reading it.
i got it off  used.  cost me $6 total.
i also ordered "The Way to Zen."
61 cents.
$4 total.
i love

i'm tired and i miss him.
i felt protected with him.
now i feel like a little boat lost at sea.
but not too far from shore.
i called my son today.
i told him everything.
he is sending me money for food.
he told me not to wait so long to call him;
that he's here for me,
like a "Special Trade."

i'm embarrassed to have had to ask.
i am grateful i have him.
i cried after i hung up the phone.
i cried that a "special trade" had to happen.
i cried that i do have him; and that he loves me so much.
"go glitter or go home."

i love you, Dragon.
i love you, my kind, generous, loving son.
i love you, my sweet, loyal daughter.
i promise you guys that i will keep my head up.
i promise not to give up.

"go glitter or go home."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bunny update and a letter to Dragon

i think i promised a Bunny update.  well, here it is.

first off, Bunny is still working full time at that new place.  {psssst.  she doesn't like it but it's a job
and she is grateful to have it.}  But the Bun doesn't make enough.  she is working for much less and driving much further and she isn't making ends meet.  she had given up on the luxury of enough food so she is going to try and sell Mary Kay cosmetics.  she is doing it with her daughter so both girls are trying their best to be pretty and invite women they meet to free facials in hopes of selling to them.
Bunny is trying to find people for her first party.  her daughter already did one and made $300 that evening.  Bunny's fingers are crossed.  oh, and if anyone here is interested, Bunny is getting her Mary Kay website up soon and will post it here.  it really is a good product and Bunny would love to take orders.  {yes, she knows.  she is selling here on her blog.  Bunny isn't above screaming for help.}

 Bunny has a friend that she got on her last day at her old store, the bear store.  it's a little white Scottie.  yes, she knows most people will think, "oh, a Westie," but Bunny says, "nope.  she's a Scottie."  her name is Snowball and Bunny loves her very much.  they watch Netflix together.
 Bunny drives her around the apartment in her car, and lets Snowball toot the horn.
 Bunny sews, and sews, and sews.  and Bunny keeps company with her Dragon.
she misses him a lot.  a whole lot.  in fact, Bunny has had some moments where her self-doubt has gotten the better of her and she has wondered if her Dragon would even know her anymore.  she has changed so much.

she has wondered if he would still love her.  she has lost so much weight.  she looks so sad sometimes.  she doesn't smile when she isn't around people.  she talks softly to her Scottie babies.  but she doesn't ever go out, except to work.

she thinks about her Dragon a lot and wonders if he is alright.

my dearest Dragon,

how are you?  i know that sounds like a ridiculous way to start a letter to someone who has died, and been dead for over 4 years, but i really want to know.  what is it like?  what do you feel?  do you feel?  can you see me?  i hope, if you can, that you don't look in on me at all because i have changed.  i am so far from who i was when i was with you.  i feel lost out here in a storm that continues to build.

i lost my store.  it closed and i am at a store that is so vastly different.  the boss there is a bully.  she is verbally abusive and we have been unable to get upper management to even acknowledge it.  the humiliation is hard to take.  the pressure, the denigration, it is embarrassing in front of customers.  the constant threats of being fired.  the unreasonable physical demands, it is taking it's toll on me.  i am looking for another job, but i have started with Mary Kay.

i know.  this will make you laugh.  me and makeup.  i have never worn makeup in my whole life, and here i am now using it and trying to sell it.  you always told me i was so beautiful.  but you always said the best part of me was the "inside me."  you loved my soul, who i was.  i guess who i might still be.  that part of me hasn't changed.  what has changed is my courage.  my stamina is less.  hope is hard to hang on to.  i miss you fiercely.  you were so strong.  you were kick ass and bad ass and all that kind of ass.  you also had a great ass but what i need is for my own ass to be stronger. 

i have gone through all the strength i have.  i have gone through my inner reserves.  i am now running on the idea of hope and strength.  but ideas have carried far more than i further than i even want to go.  so the idea of hope, especially if it's all you have, isn't such a bad thing to have.  some have less.

over 4 years since i kissed you.  over 4 years since i last heard your voice.  where did you go?  is it nice where you are?  do you ever think of me?  do you wish you knew?  if i were tired or happy or, if i were sad and blue?  la de da.  la de da.  i sometimes wish it had been me who died.

but then i think about my children.  and i think about my dogs.  i think about what the future holds and i wonder where i will go.  will i go to Heaven?  is there one?  will we be together?  will i .......
the questions go on and on.  and now, you are one who has the answers.  why won't you share them with me?  

sometimes i don't think i'm going to make it.  i work hard and keep looking for more work.  i never rest on my day off {well, writing on my blog isn't exactly work} and i never go out.  i don't do things other than work, errands, laundry, sew, and now Mary Kay.  my time is taken up with surviving.

i don't even take photos of clouds really anymore.  and i miss the creative thing.  yes, sewing is creative, but i have drawings that i make at night, sketches of things i want to make and i don't take the time for myself.  i don't feel i can.  like maybe i would be punished if i tried to do something nice for myself.  like it's not allowed.

i miss you.  you made me feel happy.  happy is one of those elusive feelings, like inner peace.  you only know you aren't there, but it's what you work for.  and yet, if you read Zen, Judeo-Christian writings, it isn't something you work for, it's something you discover.

i discovered happiness with you.  i discovered inner peace with you.  watching you die ripped that all away and i am swamped with a grief that i've read is all my fault.  "pain is an actual experience.  grief is something you have control over.  so get over it."  reading that hit me in the face like a shovel.  i'm in control of grief.  i'm in control of how much i miss you and how lonely i feel for you.  let me snap my fingers and get over it.  there.  all done.


anyway, i'm more or less the same as i was.  well, i am less than i was.  i am quieter.  i am sadder.  i am more of a loner.  i am freer in a way with what i say and how i look because i do not care what i look like.  you're not here to impress.  i am despondent a lot.  i am hopelessly in love with you.  still.

there is a pattern to my days and a rhythm to my sleep.  all fucked up.  but i'm used to it.  i am tired.  i do have a few more questions for you.

do you miss me?

do you get to sleep, really rest after you die?  

do you, could you, still love me?

forever and always,
~ your Beach Bunny