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.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

beauty among the ruins

there is a wonderful book by Robert Clark titled "Love Among the Ruins" about two teenagers who fall in love during 1968.  the title has stuck with me for a long time and came around to my mind again shortly after my Dragon died.

and approaching 5 years, which, if you're read the previous couple of missives here, is hitting me pretty hard.
 i love my dogs....
... and my children.....
...and my grandson.

i like sewing.  i would like to get back to painting and making stained glass.  this last quilt commission to finish; which is approaching over 550 hours of work, and i will be free of the pressure of another person's judgement. my time free time off from work will be my own for the first time in 5 years.  i look very much forward to that.

this commission has been huge.  hundreds of hours.  no more compensation for my work. after asking for so much, she now says she is "strapped for money."   i have ended up resenting this commission.  i am finishing this pro bono.  *sigh*  i do not understand as i see her photographs of her and her new husband, the things they get to do, their trips.  but maybe they get those things cheaper than they appear, or they were gifts.  i do not know and should not judge.  it is my duty to finish this quilt and i will do so.
i feel like i am living among the ruins of my life:  a tiny apartment {but it's mine}, a job that takes away a lot of my soul {but i renew it everyday with thoughts of him, my children, my grandson, taking photos of the sky, etc.}, loneliness for him i can do nothing about {i talk to him though, and i talk to God}.

there is beauty among the ruins of my life.  i brought the photo up there under my blog title over from a page from Facebook; a page called Earth Porn.  it reminds me of Van Gogh's painting, "Starry Night."  i made me smile and stare at it, and come back to it.  i think it is beautiful.  had i be fortunate to be present on that day, i would have stayed outside until dark, or the clouds passed.  

there is beauty in the world in the shape of clouds and those of us left behind.

i miss my Dragon so very much.  five years is a long time to be without him.  it's a long time to sit here and know it will be longer before i hope to see him again.  five years of life among the ruins, but there is so much beauty here that i can take in and keep in my memories.
there will be a lot of tell him about when we meet. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

59 months still.......

since he died, i've crossed paths with quite a few widows and widowers.  i know everyone is on their own journey, feel differently, react differently.  it has been interesting to be the wallflower; to watch everyone, hear from them, hear about them.

so many have done very well.  a great deal have found new loves and married.

very few of the first ones to write to me here are actually still reading or writing anymore.  their lives are busy and reading one widow's blog?  keeping up with her here?  just no incentive anymore.

i'm still here though.  i'm not really in the same place emotionally that i was during that first year, but, to be honest, i am not too far removed from it.

i am still in the same vicinity that i was.  i'm wandering, i guess.

i have thought about this a great deal of late.  i am not still shell-shocked.  he has died.  i have a full-time job and work very hard for my money.  i count pennies very carefully.

i am a new grandmother.  i love that baby and have wonderful ideas of what i can teach him, of just playing with him.  grief has not tainted this blessing.

i do not want to take off my rings.  i do not want to date, or meet anyone.  i do not care about finding a friend anymore.  i am very used to being alone now.  it is not something i would have chosen, but i have grown accustomed to it.  it suits me.

i think if any one of the people who used to read all the time, at the beginning, were to stop by now -- just to see -- they might be concerned, or bored, depending upon how they feel about me.

i am still in month 59 with that 5 year mark - that 60th month - staring at me, glaring at me.  and i feel apprehensive about it.  5 years is a long time.  5 years is nothing compared to.........

i think i'll go to bed and try to sleep.  sleep is a good escape from the impending agony of hitting that 5th year.  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Enoch Arden

it's January of 2014.  that means it's been 4 years, 11 months.  59 months of living without my Dragon.  it feels like a long time.

there are days when i miss him a great deal.  there are days when i think of him and smile.
still, even on the good days, i have fleeting moments of wonder.
where is he?
is he safe and happy?
does he sort of remember me?
it's that whole mystery of death and afterlife introspective journey i take.

i have faith.  i just don't know what really comes next; what it will feel like, be like.

the days get strung together.  i live for my days off.  i get physically tired.
December was hard.  i worked 112 + hour weeks.
the overtime was nice, but getting that run down catches up to you.

i have been melancholy.
i have been evaluating my life.  am i okay?  what do i really feel?

i feel like 59 months is a long time to go without your best friend.
it's a long time to go without holding hands, talking, knowing they are waiting for you when you get off work.
it's a long time.
and it's hardly any time at all depending upon how long i have on this earth.

i'm melancholy and i can't put my finger on it.
i'm doing okay.  paying bills.  holding on.
i love my new grandson.
wish i could see him every single day.
hoping he loves me.
secretly hoping i'm his favorite gramma.  would never say that out loud.

if you met me you would say i have it all together.
i'm funny.  people gravitate to me.
i have some talent with creativity; art stuff.
but if you look into my eyes; when i look in the mirror,
i don't see the me i was when he was here.
i'm less.
i'm sadder.
it's in the eyes.
it's in the moments when i am utterly alone that a voyeur could tell.
i am definitely less than who i was before.
i bow out of things, like at my daughter's baby shower.  i had made this book for people to write things in for her, advice for the new baby.
her mother-in-law had purchased cards for that and stood in front of me to speak to it and pass them out.  i slipped back down in my seat and hid the book i made.  i was embarrassed and a bit hurt.
i had wanted to participate more in my daughter's baby shower but it became her event and i felt left out.  and i stayed out.
i bowed out and let her have it.

i'm low on everyone's list; even my own.

i am, however, very high on the list of two little hearts.
my dogs are my roomies, my cuddle-buddies.
i don't want them to die.  i know they will.
and i know i will react very badly when this happens. i already feel it inside my heart.
 my little Miss Carmen Sophia the Wild Gypsy Girl with the Sensitive Soul is showing signs of her age.  she's my little girl with such a big attitude and a willful spirit.  but she's also a momma's girl.  she loves me so much.  when i finally sit down, she is in my lap in a heartbeat.  she stretches out with a sigh as if she's thinking, "at last.  momma is home and she's mine."
 Mister Scootie Wootums Lord of the Dance with the Stardust Eyes is still a bit more lively, but even he has his moments when i can tell; i can see he no longer has a puppy heart.  he's slowing down.  to this day he goes in search of my Dragon.  he'll go to the closet and get one of my Dragon's shoes and lay with it.  nose inside the shoe sniffing.  if i equate his actions to what a human would do, it breaks me.  it looks so very much like he misses my, our Dragon.
and then there's my new grandson.  such a cutie.  i adore him.  i'm am so ready, so excited about playing with him, reading to him, singing to him, showing him things, but i am careful about what i write in public about that, and what i mentally plan for him and me.  i cannot infringe or overstep.  i dare not intrude on the plans and expectations his other gramma has.  i can't get in the way.

call me Enoch Arden.

{Enoch Arden is an old sea story.  it's the tale of a man who left his wife to go on a two year whaling trip long, long ago.  neither knew she was pregnant with their son when he left.  word came back that a terrible storm broke Enoch's vessel apart and all aboard drowned.  however, Enoch had survived.  he recovered and it took him 5- 7 years, depending upon which version of the story you read, for him to work his way back home.  when he did arrive, he found his wife had married his best friend.  he saw his son.  he also saw the three of them together standing at a memorial to him.  a man who recognized Enoch approached him saying that his "widow" honored his memory; that his son knew who he was, and that his friend was taking good care of the little family.  but he also asked Enoch why he wasn't rushing down to make his presence known.  
Enoch said, "it would destroy the happiness she has found and the security my son knows with my friend.  i cannot do that to them.  please do not tell them i was ever here."
Enoch gained a berth on a ship leaving the harbor that evening never to return.  the man held the story inside himself until Enoch's "widow" had passed and his son had grown and moved away.  then he spoke with awe and reverence of the selfless and heartbreaking decision Enoch made to sacrifice his own happiness to let his family have theirs.}

in an insignificant way, i am a bit like Enoch Arden.
i bow out.
i let others have their way.
i never speak up.
i get my feelings hurt a lot, too.

59 months without him here.
59 months without someone speaking out on my behalf when i never would.
59 months without that certain someone who always knew where i was at all times,
of him waiting for me.
59 months of being without him.

i'm melancholy.
i wish ........

see, funny thing, i don't even know what i wish for.

i'll just bow out now;
before i say too much.