Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 30

Well I did it!  For thirty straight days I showed up in my studio and worked.  It was difficult in many ways but I learned a lot about myself and my process over the course of the month.  I hope to continue daily but begin to work on larger things at my pace which is not necessarily a painting a day.  I still get hung up on subject matter and that is OK.  For now as I am in the transitioning phase of my life and all I want to do is paint or draw my husband in some form.  It is all I have of him though I know I really don't 'have' him but it works for now.  I also know my work and I as an artist is still developing.  I saw that the more invested emotionally with the subject matter the more involved I became in the work.  Took my time and made it to that place where nothing matters but what is in front of me.  Although in some of the work I did very quickly but also was invested in the subject.  It has been very interesting.  I saw the difference in the different pieces.  So it has been a profitable month for me in what I have learned.

I will post both of today' s work on here.  The painting, another non-representational one, will go to Leslie's website for the challenge.  I feel like I blended my grief and my work this month so I drew Richard today and I will post it here.  I hope this daily posting will continue as I have enjoyed writing on my blog again.  Some of my gadgets are missing and not sure why but didn't want to fool around with the blog mechanics until the challenge was finished for fear that I would loose everything.  Feel like I am writing to myself here but I am getting use to that...a solitary figure.  Not liking it either.  Miss my husband every minute of the day.  There is little rest from it.

                                                                The Veil Between Us
                                                                oil, 6"x6" Masonite

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 29

I really enjoy abstract or non-representational art.  It is an area of painting I am interested in exploring, learning the language if you will,  and experimenting more with.  So today as I prepped a small board I started to just paint with no objective other than paint, step back,  and go back in to either scrape paint off or add more.  I like where it was starting to go.

                                                                          Just Paint...
                                                                          oil,6"x6" Masonite

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 28

I take a lot of photos for different reasons but as I wrote earlier this week my dog, Maggie has been diagnosed with Horner's Syndrome and not much for me to do but pay the vet bill that is now on my credit card and watch her.  But the eye seemingly looking smaller and peering in the opposite direction from her other eye is beginning to grow on me.  She has this endearing look now that I can not resist.  She is twelve and has some arthritis issues which just adds to her look and posture.  This drawing and some studio cleaning was in order.  Drawing is right up there with painting for me.  I can easily get lost for hours in either.

                                                                          charcoal, 11"x14"  paper

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 27

Three to go...I am not counting or anything.  I liked this better when I had less on the canvas but the gesture is there, the essence of what attracted me to this photo of Richard and I.  I will probably go back into this one or start over but of course for the challenge I do not have the time.  So this is it.

Much was unspoken at this point.  So much left unsaid.  So much I wish I could tell him today, face to face.
                                                                    oil, 8"x10" stretched canvas

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 26

Today a simple ordinary fall pumpkin.  No explanation other than maybe I use to love fall and pumpkins but since Richard died on the cusp of Fall I now have an aversion to it.  But for todays purposes...

                                                                          oil,6"x6", Masonite board     


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 25

Found a photo of one of my favorite spots here in Rhode Island, on the island of Jamestown.  A spot at the southern tip of Jamestown called Beavertail.  I believe it is named so because of the outcropping of rock which kind of reminds one of flattened tails of the beaver.  At least it does me.  The sunsets are spectacular from Beavertail because one looks west across the bay.  The sunsets  leave beautiful reflections on the water, so a double treat if you will.

Another hard day of grief...waves after wave plus a sick dog which required an expensive vet visit which just produced more tears.  She is twelve and psychologically, my last link to my husband.  As I wrote earlier this month she was with me that morning he died.  I am so not ready to loose her.  It appears she has Horner's Syndrome.

                                                                   Sunset With You
                                                                   oil, 8"x8" Masonite

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 24

Just a little study today focus on the curvilinear shapes of the Snake plant leaves. Done in oil on 8"x8" canvas board.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 23

It is said that it takes 21 days for a habit to form.   I tend to believe that.  It is becoming more common place for me to think about working in my studio than not on a daily basis.  I am now thinking about my work, what I will paint next for the challenge and even on a larger scale beyond the challenge.  I have a couple of things I want to explore from a couple of the small things I did over the last twenty odd days.

Today's subject was a challenge for me and I refused to give up for hours.  It was paint, scrape, paint...and repeat.  I found it difficult to really pull the mushroom color.  I saw it but was finding it hard because it is such a neutral color.  But challenge is good.  I guess my theme has turned to 'ordinary' food and Richard.  It is all good, just follow your brush.

                                                                    oil, 5"x7" canvas covered board

Monday, September 22, 2014

Thirty Paintings_Day 22

Today's painting is a Delicata squash.  With Autumn approaching all the fall vegetables are showing up in the stores.  I love squash of all types.  Time to turn on the oven to bake them or to make soups.  It just kind of happened.  No fanfare, no hurricanes, or very hot or cold days.  Just here we are.  Another year has passed and taken each of the seasons with it.
                                                                       oil, 5"x7" canvas panel

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day21

My son sent me some photos he had on his phone as well as a video.  They were moments I had forgotten early in the in-home hospice phase.  He was starting to loose weight and in many I am looking tired, the beginnings of a fatigue of mind and body I will never forget.  But then there were the moments when we would still hug, hold hands, and just show our love for each other.  He was the love of my life and I his.  As hard as it is sometimes to only be able to see him on a video or a photograph some how I am comforted to paint him and us.  Grateful that I can.  I am not looking for realism especially something done in a few hours but rather the gesture, the essence in this case of us.  I think I succeeded in catching that.

                                                          Embracing You in My Heart
                                                          oil, 6"x7" Masonite board

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 20

Day twenty.  Hard to believe I have painted everyday for twenty days.  This painting was inspired from one of my favorite photos of my husband.  He was young, healthy, doing what he loved, driving a truck as a Teamster.  This is the photo I drag from room to room some days because I so need to see him.  Some days I hold the frame to my chest and sob.  It is something to hold, to touch.  Strange but that is what I do.  Not much more to say on that.  That day it was on the table as I sipped coffee and wrote in my journal, one of my mainstays.
                                                                  All That is Left of You
                                                                  oil, 8"x8" canvas panel

Friday, September 19, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 19

Well showed up and I used a knife and did it quickly.  Not sure if i like it or it is so ugly that I am intrigued with it.  Just not sure.  But they are items on my drafting table that I use daily thus very ordinary to me.

Football game at URI, out to dinner with two of my children, a three mile power walk, then home to paint.  Off to finally relax and watch a movie.

                                                                    Solvent Can and Windex
                                                                    8"x8", oil on canvas board

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 18

This has been an insanely busy week with a busier weekend coming up.  So I feel like I am constantly playing catch up...and I am.  Tomorrow my youngest grandson, who is a sophomore and a football player at URI is playing his first home game in the afternoon.  So we will be there as will be my husband in spirit, who loved football, the New England Patriots, and would have become a Rhody Rams fan and would have gone to every home game, will be with us.  He would have been so proud of this young man.  And Sunday there is a cook-out at another daughter's home.  So a full weekend and the deal will be to keep up my painting for the challenge.  So the paintings may be a hair clip or a knife.  But it will be something truly ordinary.

I decided to paint the cairn again but loosely in oil this time.  Thanks for reading.  Have a good night!
                                                                     Cairn #2
                                                                     oil, 6"x6" canvas panel

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 17

Today I pulled out my watercolors and tried my hand.  I have not touched my watercolors in probably two years at least.  For a first attempt after all that has happened and the time away from them, I am satisfied.  The subject is a cairn made up of stones I picked up a few weeks ago at the beach.  Actually at the very rocky 'beach' at Point Judith Lighthouse, which is the very tip of our state.  Richard and I would go there during the summer to eat clam cakes and chowder.  We would watch the surfers or I would go hunt rocks or shells.  They have been riding around on the floor of my car ever since.  Today I dragged them in as I had the urge to paint them.  They were simply placed on one of my clean but stained oil painting palette, an 18"x24" piece of plexiglass.  The stones will make their way outside as one of the cairns for Richard I want to place around our yard.  Another hard day today...I miss him so badly, I miss us, I miss being married and being a wife.  I feel like I am bobbing up and down in the ocean with no real direction...just another facet of grief. 
                                                                         Cairn #1
                                                                         watercolor, 6"x8" cold press

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 16

I decided on a subject, squeezed out paint, mixed paint , and started to paint.  Wiped it off,  tried again, and again...decided this was not working.  My self talk got louder and louder.  Lately I need to almost have some sort of connection with my subject.  Had little with the ordinary thing I choose.

I also was hit with a wave of grief this evening and everything just fell away...then I realized this is my painting, this is me tonight.  I loose my technique, my abilities, my nerve, my confidence, my heart when the waves hit.  I get slammed hard, shocked sometimes.  The sadness so heavy I could fall to the ground and stay there.  I have lost the most important thing to me, my husband of fifty years, and I feel like a blank canvas at times, with very little of me left.  I am trying to work with what is left but tonight this is what I got.  I am never going to be the same person as I was and I am at a loss as to what that means yet.  All I do know is that I am in transition.   The more I look at this and think about it I am again giving myself kudos for showing up anyway, for painting, and accepting what I got.

                                                                       oil, 6"x6", canvas panel

Monday, September 15, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 15

Day 15...I see why it is called a challenge.  I still agonize over subject matter with ordinary everywhere but I do not see it.  But something is working it's way in.  I also normally take more than a day to do a painting so this pushes me to think fast, or maybe thing less, and let my knife or brush fly.  But the important thing I remind myself is that I am painting every day, thinking about it daily, and becoming my intentional.  So day 15, half way there.  I feel somewhat like I am back in art school again and not a bad thing.  I am getting back into a place I once was but was so overwhelmed for so long with Richard's illness and my loss I could not see that place in me. 

Today a little, a very little harvest of cherry tomatoes in a little desert bowl.  So much for my little garden as the weather appears to be changing quickly.  I can hear Richard.  Carol, Carol, you did not fertilize, you did not water, you did not tie them to the stakes...no, Richard, I did none of those things.  And you should have been here to do them yourself.

                                                                     Life is a Bowl...
                                                                     oil, 6"x6" canvas board

Thirty Paintings-Day 14

Went with another tomato.  During this challenge I am also exploring techniques and watching and feeling what comes more natural.  What happens when I relax and get out of my head.  I am not looking for literal anymore. I want something more.  So today the edges were blurred, so much so that one is not sure where the tomato leaves off and the back ground begins.  A metaphor of my life these days.

A hard day.  Up early, way too early.  Needed to nap then a phone call from one of my wise daughter's who understood completely what had happened to me with the loss of her father, my husband and how I had to work through so much and how exhausting it all is.  But she encouraged me to stay with it and do what I needed from cry, scream, write, sleep, whatever it takes to get to the bottom of it, to me.  So I then had some lunch and began to work.

                                                            Tomatoes for Richard
                                                            oil, 6"x6" canvas panel

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 13

Today I finally picked three tomatoes from my garden.  Still not terribly red but orange will do I suppose.  Tomatoes from the garden so remind me of Richard because he enjoyed them so.  Being hit with heavy waves of grief today so not so much to say other than I showed up.  These fast paintings for each day do challenge me to get out of my head and work fast.  Probably a good thing.  Anyway...
                                                                     Summers End
                                                                     oil, 6"x6" canvas panel

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 12

In sticking with the ordinary I have an egg every morning, a poached egg between two pieces of whole grain toast with my second mug of coffee.  It is my favorite time of the day,  where the day is still fresh and before me.  Anything is still possible...

                                                               Remains of the Morning
                                                                6"x6", canvas panel

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 11

This is not a successful painting but the idea is to get in the studio and work.  That I did but today was not my day.  I was distracted with errands, phone calls, and visits. I also was hit with multiple waves of grief which can stop me in my tracks and it did.  But I can be obsessive in that this is a challenge for thirty paintings and I am going for the thirty.  This one was a disappointment after a few days of a roll if you will.  I painted and wiped off a number of times.  Also was not happy with my support but was out of  6"x6" panels.  The surface on this one should have been sanded.  But it is as finished as much as I want it to be at this point.  Not sure what the deal was or maybe it was a little of everything.  So today's success was that I worked in the studio a few hours and I in fact painted, though frustrated.

                                                                    Orange Slice
                                                                     0il, 6"x6"masonite

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 10

Finding the ordinary is not easy.  I am still struggling with what to paint but pushing on.  Maybe it really does not matter...maybe its in how I push the paint, grabbing the values along the way that is the important thing.  Maybe nothing else matters.  But the best thing is I am working everyday, sometimes in my studio all day or maybe into the evening.  Though frustrated, as painting is hard, but I am present.  The pain of missing Richard is there but quiet as I make myself get into the moment and work.  In any case my offering...

                                                                  Pieces of Pear
                                                                  oil, 6"x6", canvas panel

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 9

Today I harvested a few little eggplants from the garden.  I love their color.  I used a small painting knife.  That's all I got today.  Small painting and even less in word.  Thank you for checking my blog out.

                                                                        oil, 6"x6" canvas board

Monday, September 8, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 8

Today I started to reorganize my studio because of some of the things that have cropped up since starting the challenge but had to stop and get ready to leave to attend a new session of a grief support group.  I have been to spouse loss support, three six week sessions offered by Home&Hospice of Rhode Island over the past year and also I see a grief counselor from the same agency weekly.  The new group is for those who are at one year and beyond of the loss.  I just hit the year.  This agency cared for my husband here at home then inpatient at the end.  When Richard died I  received support immeasurable through this agency.  Teaching me about grief and mourning,  to feel and get the pain out but rest when I could no longer work through it.  It has been a long road since Richard began in-home hospice care.  All this to say I was not sure if I would get to painting as I still needed to make my dinner after the meeting, make a book purchase that had been recommended to me, Man's Search For Meaning, then finally sit and eat and relax some.

But then I walked into my upside down studio, found an image of my Maggie I wanted to paint and began to dig in.  Music playing, and she started to appear on the canvas, I was present and the pain had subsided for the moment.  This image was from a few days after Richard's death.  I had taken Maggie and went to the ocean and just sat for hours.  Maggie was just looking out at the water and the sun was getting ready to set but was still bright.  Maggie was with me on the unit for eight days while Richard was dying and ultimately woke me very early,  between 4 and 5 AM to let me know he had died.  I did not know what she was trying to tell me.  I pulled her up on the little chair/bed I was sleeping on and tried to go back to sleep never thinking Richard was gone.  All I thought was I would have allergy eyes in the morning because she was near my face.  My brain was not functioning or it went right into denial because she never wakes me, never.  Shortly thereafter the nurse came in, checked on Richard, and took my hand to tell me he was gone.  When I got my wits about me I told her what Maggie did and she wanted Maggie's time as she believed Maggie was awakened with Richard's passing.  Still emotional to write about or even think about but I must do both.

So you see this little dog is very precious to me...and I am fully aware that she is twelve years old.  She is a very real connection to Richard on so many levels.  She was our dog with loyalty to us both.  She is somewhat more somber since his death and I realized our house had never been empty thus when I went out to do an errand in the beginning she was alone now and did not like it.  I would come home to her howling pitifully.  There use to be my husband, a teen ager who grew up and left, another beagle who passed away a couple of years ago, and my cat who died a year and a half ago from cancer.  So Maggie and I have suffered these losses together.  We have just adopted a five month old tabby kitten a month ago hoping to help Maggie's loneliness in general.  More about her later.

                                                                     9"x12", oil on stretched canvas

Sunday, September 7, 2014

ThirtyPaintings-Day 7

Someone asked if we could draw and the answer was yes as the point was to be in the studio and making something daily. 

I was invited to a two camp two weeks ago that was for children who have suffered loss in their young lives.  I had a specific task that I was asked to head.  With that I was tagged as 'the art lady' to guide the children in a banner making project.  I was able to bring my twelve year old beagle, Maggie.  The children and adults loved her and made her very welcome.  On the last day a little girl came up to me and asked if she could give Mag a cheese nip.  I said yes and how nice of her to want to share.   Then one cheese nip led to another...they were serious now as the little girl and Maggie were now face to face and I melted,  gave in, and said share on.  Maggie has not had a salty snack shared since Richard was no longer able to eat them himself and of course was no longer able to share with Maggie.  She has last ten pounds since his death.  I took photos with permission of her grandparent but this one exemplifies the sharing nature between the two.  L was feeding food and love to Maggie and Maggie was returning that love and attention to L. 

The gestural movement of this image is something I think I may paint but wanted to do a drawing to see what I caught.  Today has been a busy day so I chose to draw.  I can do fussy literal drawings that can take hours and days. But for my purpose for both the challenge and the planned painting later I was looking for the gestural qualities and a simple drawing.

                                                              Sharing With a Friend...
                                                                charcoal on paper, 11"x14"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 6

This little painting was an impromptu deal.  I tend to take the left over paint on my palette and mix it up in luscious piles of greys to cover with plastic wrap and save for the next painting session.  Other times I play around and see what I can come up with by using what is on my palette to make a painting as was the case with this pear.  I pretty much used the palette knife and what was there for paint.  That's the rule, can't squeeze out anymore paint.  I can only use what is there already.  Sometimes I do them from out of my head and other times as in this case, the pear was sitting there from the other day.  Pretty ordinary.

The last two days made for difficult painting as the heat and humidity here were both unbearable.  In the ninety's, both measurements.   My in house thermostat read at 85 degrees.  I do not have air conditioning.  I do not respond well to this weather and find it even hard to think or do anything.    Everything seems accentuated thus I was miserable.  But I did paint,  did some much needed computer housecleaning, and grieved hard today...but made it through.

Thanks for reading!

                                                                   oil, 6"x6"
                                                               canvas panel

Friday, September 5, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 5

The thing that gets me up is the thought of that first cup of coffee in the morning.  Pretty ordinary but with many memories attached to the act.  I so enjoy it and feel revived like no other drink in the rest of my day.  I am also attached to my mug.  I like the feel of it in my hands.  I am a tactile person always checking how something feels and that includes mugs, bowls, and glasses.

It reminds me the many times we made pots of coffee for each other.  How many times did I wake to being handed a mug of coffee by Richard.  Or how I would set up the pot for him at night for the next morning because he had to get up at a ghastly 2 AM for work.  Having the the pot ready for him to just hit the switch seemed like the best thing to do, seeing as I was not getting up with him.  Almost to the end, while he could still swallow, I gave him a mug of coffee in the morning.  Now it is coffee alone...

                                                               Grey Morning
                                                                oil, 6"x6"


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thirty Paintings-Day 4

In my search for an ordinary object which really is not what I wanted to do, the search I mean.  That defeats my purposes.  In ordinary I want the subject to just show up.  So in a way it did today.  Less time was spent in a hunt but I just thought what are the everyday things I enjoy.  A cup of Tazo Zen Tea revives me...so I have a painting for day four.

I am already learning about time management and that I don't but at this point in my life I am not worrying about that.   I am also thinking about some of the things that I had forgotten over the last year and a half of not painting regularly.  I am also beginning to see what I do not want to continue and beginning to remember where I was headed...wanting to free up, use larger brushes, and let go.  I want to listen to myself and not the other voices of what a cup of tea is 'suppose' to look like but rather what I want it to feel like.  So I am taking note...it will all be on this blog for you and for me.  My painting, as I am, is evolving, hopefully.  Thank you for visiting today!

                                                           Last Flower of Summer
                                                            oil, 8"x10" canvas

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thirty Paintings Challenge-Day 3

My garden, for a few reasons,  has not flourished this summer.  The temperatures just never seemed to get hot enough for the tomatoes.  Also the tomatoes were Richard's project every year.  He babied them, picked their suckers, watered, and tied them up off the ground.  He was out there checking them a few times a day.  Gave them what they needed in terms of natural , thank you chickens, fertilizer from which he would make a very stinky tea and feed them.  Then when he started to harvest those beauties he would make the best tomato salad from tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, and Italian herbs.  It was the best.  One could soak Italian bread into the juice and it was amazing.

I have only planted them and did a once over sucker picking.  I have green tomatoes, still...even though they are the same type we always planted.  One's heart needs to be in to the gardening process,  I believe and my heart was not.  Being out in the yard is very hard with out him as everything is.  So I picked these green tomatoes and painted them.  They in some ways are a visual reminder of his absence in the garden this year as well.  I guess there is always fried green tomatoes.

                                                                Summer Green
                                                                  oil, 8"x10"

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Thirty Day Painting Challenge-Day 2

I awoke today remembering it was yet another anniversary of loss.  My mother died two years ago today,  three thousand miles away and I could not leave my husband.  The odd things that come to you sometimes.   She loved danish pastry and fig squares.  Once upon a time they were something I made trips to the bakery for as Richard and I also loved pastries.  Those days long gone for me.  But this morning I thought of my mother and decided I would find a bakery and buy 'her' a raspberry danish.  So I ventured out into the ninety plus  temperatures with the same amount of humidity searching for the right danish I had in my mind.  One of the last things she said to me via a long phone call before she became ill was she wished I was there and we could have coffee or tea with something 'good' together and just talk.  I so wished that too.  I always thought there would be time to share that with her.  It was not to be.

                                                            A Danish for Mom
                                                            oil, 8"x10" canvas panel

Monday, September 1, 2014

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days-Day 1

One of the ways that I can see to help put my life back together since Richard's death is to get in my studio daily and work...paint, draw, whatever.  I have had trouble doing that on a regular basis during this first year due to the obvious grief and mourning.  He was ill for a few years and I was his primary caregiver for sixteen months before he died last August.  The painting I have done in the last twelve months has been grief oriented and I have finished some pretty powerful paintings of my husband during his decline...powerful for me and my adult children.  Only a few people have seen them.  I found I could 'touch' him and it became cathartic and it was a way to 'touch' him.

Early in August  I had read Leslie Saeta's invitation for artist's to join her in her challenge of Paint Thirty Paintings in as many days and post them to her website each day.  I thought for me personally it was the perfect thing to help me get going again.  August being the anniversary of my husband's passing last summer and tomorrow being the two year marker of my mothers death.  I need to work and needed this very challenge to help me have the needed deadlines with the hope that I begin to turn to my studio more and more.  I am out of practice on so many levels.  I therefore look to this challenge to oil my painting technique, a beginning again if you will.  So with that said, I have been looking forward to the start September for a few reasons...and here we are.

My theme for the month is to paint the ordinary, the everyday, the things I over look in my quest for the perfect subject, which of course usually stops me in my tracks.  Maybe even explore parts of the whole.  We will see.  So I started with a pear.  My go to when I could not come up with anything else because my mind was so full of my husband, his illness, and our future.  Pears were safe...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

One year...

This man...this man who I shared life with for fifty years, who I loved, was my lover, fought with, laughed with, danced with, had five children with, eight grandchildren with, and everything else with died one year ago today. I have written over the year extensively about my grief, sadness, hopelessness via Facebook and you for the most part have read and held me up...thank you. I am numb this morning. Oddly quiet and thoughtful but numb. A strange state of disbelief and calm. The tears are right at the ready. I find it hard to believe 365 days have past with out him, that I have cried for 365 days, sometimes for hours at end, curled up on the floor in the fetal position. He was my life I have discovered...there is much I have discovered about me over the year but the most important is I know  he was who I was meant to be with. That is it really...I loved him, love him now, and will continue to love him...I miss him still as much today as ever and look for ward to that day at the end of my life, with my hands outstretched to him and I see him again, and he will throw his

arms around me and I will settle once again...I had no idea.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Six Months...

                   That Morning

Searching frantically for poems, music, or words
anything to mark your death
to bring you back to me
six months ago today...half a year
and so the tears begin
a seemingly permanent condition
that takes me back to you, that morning
the unreal silence of the breath I use to listen to
the unbelievability of your stilled body that use to hold me close
no longer seeing me
hearing me
feeling me...
the loneliness for you
for us
for then
I am unable to touch the place to make it better
all I do is yearn for you
everyday remember what we did
sadness spreads as hot molten lava
burning me
hardening me
to the stone
searching for her lover
I love you, Richard
-Carol Rodi
 This was written Friday by me...as an expression of my grief. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The six month anniversary of Richard’s death has been approaching...with tomorrow being the six month marker.   Sometimes it feel so much worse now than when he first died.  I know it was because I was so numb when he did pass that I had no idea of the ramifications, no idea the feelings that would arise, just no idea.  Even though he was leaving, dying...one is still shocked beyond belief that it actually happened.  This week started out with deep grief and mourning resulting in wracking sobs, sometimes just crumpled, folded in on myself, on the floor.  But then that is how down and dirty grief can be...it changes on you.  Then all of a sudden one finds herself in her home office trying to make sense of the piles of paper, bills, correspondence, things needing attending to, long over due in some cases while eyes are still wet from a episode of hard crying.

But now it has hit the critical mass place.  Appliances are failing(water heater and refrigerator), certain applications are nearing deadlines, car needs attention, need a haircut, have not had an eye exam since 2008...and that is just the beginning.  There are piles of paper around the room as I have emptied the file cabinet as well. 

So now the refrigerator has been dealt with and will be replaced and the water heater is being researched with probably a decision today as to the direction I will take.  The hair has been cut and Got the eye exam  which takes be back to this strange place of grief.

The exam was somewhat disturbing in that it appears I have a few issues going on and the doctor thought I needed to see a specialist for the eye disorders and discouraged me from even filling the new glasses prescription until I have been seen.  That was sobering.  But probably the worse thing was coming home to an empty house and having no one to share it with and receive a hug from.   The being alone was palpable.  I made myself a mug of herbal tea, sat on the sofa, and cried my fear and sadness to an empty room. 

The day did not end that way though.  My son and daughter walked in with my son bearing a gift of a new TV.  He had taken all my less than perfectly working large picture tube televisions to the city drop off center yesterday and decided that a new flat screen was something I needed.  We made the change, he set it up, and then the three of us laughed, talked, and cried...OK,  I cried.

Still worried about my eyes but trying to stay peaceful though terribly hard.  I tend to be a worrier.  I could break down right now and say, really?  Now?  Right now after all of this I need to do this now?  And I cry...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Another Day, Another Marker...Without Him

"maybe some people just aren't meant to be in our lives forever. Maybe some people are just passing through...maybe they get it all done faster than the rest of us. It's like some people just come through our lives to bring us something- a gift, a blessing, a lesson we need to learn and that's why they are here. They taught you something. I'll bet...about life, and giving and caring so much about someone...that was their gift to you. They gave you the gift and they were free to move on...they were special souls...you will have that gift forever."

Richard had to leave home to go to inpatient hospice six months ago this morning as his symptoms and comfort could no longer be controlled at home. That morning is a poignant one for me...listening to 'The End of Suffering' together, sitting quietly, holding hands at the table as we digested this turn of events in our lives, a last hug, and last words of tenderness..."don't loose me". I am grateful for my life with Richard, all of it, everything, every single thing taught me something invaluable, the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly. He has left me with gifts immeasurable up to that very last moment...and beyond. Yes, I am a keeper of time as I examine every minute of our life together, picking it up, looking it over and gently put it back in place feeling nothing but love and compassion for the man I spent almost all my life with. I will love you forever, Richard...

The End of Suffering

Friday, February 14, 2014

Missing You Today...Valentine's Day

I pour through photos almost in an attempt to 'find' him.  I need to 'see' him.  I know...but this is the mind on grief.  It can be pretty unsettling. When I find them, post them, then come back latter and see them...I cry. Doesn't make any sense to me...not a whole lot makes sense anymore.  The panic in my stomach has been almost a constant the past few days.  I am encouraged to cry until there is no more...feels never ending.  Crying hurts and is exhausting.  This is one of my favorite images...so for my 'first' Valentine's Day this one makes as much sense to me as anything.  I don't know but each day without him seems harder rather than easier.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Marking Time

243360 minutes ...

another first, milestone, marker...

5 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days

my first birthday without you... alone 

with nothing more than a winter storm to remind me of my loss

169 days

since I heard your breath, touched your arm, or said I love you...

24 weeks

seeing your empty spaces through our home...

4056 hours 

how many hours ...

of deep sorrow

243360 minutes

if I could have only begged you to stay...

14601600 seconds

your in my heart, thoughts, and forever in my life, 

 I love you Richard...

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