When someone in your life dies, your creative juices can leave, sometimes for a long, long time, or creativity will flow from the darkest depths of your soul and produce massive numbers of introspective works with meaning and purpose, full of highly significant visual metaphors and and exuberance of lines and colors that takes us away from, or in and out of our despair and misery, again and again... I have to stop because I'm running out of crap to say about that. That's what people write about and make movies about. They give us "things" to rescue our souls and we are in awe of how everything worked itself out, and then, we all have that word...closure.
Good old American closure doesn't work that way. I have spent the last 10+ months of my life trying to run as hard as I could away from a grief so strong that it completely overpowered me and who I am. Every thing I did, everything I said, and everything I heard seemed to be sickeningly intertwined and overlapped with my grief somehow. I didn't ask to wake up in the middle of the night thinking that something was trying to suck the life out of me and praying to God that I wouldn't die. I didn't want to get really, really, really.... mad... at anyone for no reason at all, but sometimes it just happened and it felt so good. I didn't want to be so damn needy and feel like I was whining all the time. My screams were deaf ones that could never be heard, as I responded to let people know how I was and what I was doing. My man had just died a brutal death, a big bad wolf just fell in the pot and got eaten death, and he never knew what hit him. I didn't want to be alone without him. I did not want to be a-l-o-n-e. Did anyone hear my poor little deaf screams? Then, I didn't want to feel so happy about feeling happy and strong at times; even though I fought hard to be "better" and live better and be happy, happy, happy and make others around me okay. I just wanted a life and to run as fast and furiously as I could away from what had happened.
When your spouse dies you're in shock for a long time. It wears off and what is left is painfully bare, or should I say barren. Nothing grows and the garden is smothered by blankets and blankets of concern and condolences. Bereavement has its own special little, narrow track that's hard to derail. It runs uphill and then down hill and then uphill, again and again and again. You wonder where you are and how you got here. Sure, I'm working, laughing, crying, playing the piano, holding the babes, walking on the beach, but where am I? My sense of self resembled a gray piece of paper on a big black table, just laying there, and I am at a complete loss of what to put on it or even near it. I am emotionally paralyzed by what I have experienced and can't seem to fix the break...yeow, fix the break, heal and gone on..do it Dia...do it now Dia... I am starving for colors and lines and shadows on my page.
So I go to the only bearable place I can go to that is part of the core of my grief. I'm the girl playing the part in this really cheesy made-for-TV movie and I watch her drive up the hill to the cemetery, but it's real and it's my life not hers. I stare at letters and words on a marble plaque and they make no sense. Then, I speak to it and say how I have to leave the past behind and get on with my life. It's time, I know it and I can't wait until tomorrow. I know he hears what I am saying. I feel it in the deepest part of my heart. Oh my heck, I can't bare it. It's like I'm leaving him again in the hospital on the day he died, so small in that bed...so damn small and such a bad ending to ,t-h-a-t, that movie. He didn't know how much we would all miss him.
I told him that I needed a change of course so that I could do what what was necessary to get on with my life and accomplish whatever God had left for me to do. I was sorry but I had to let go and couldn't go back to my grief again. So hanging on to that marble plaque, with the "I'm doin' great, how are ya" words so neatly carved in marble, I bore my soul to him and then I walked away, knowing that he would have said to me. "It's okay, honey...it's okay...I'm doing great...don't worry about me...you take care of yourself.. and you're gonna be okay...you go on...I know you have to live your life now without me. But I'm always here waiting for you...if you change your mind..lol... You go on now...it's okay...I love you, forever...and that's a good thing." So deliciously cheesy...I devoured the whole thing and I felt an awkwardness that I couldn't explain. Had I done the wrong thing...what had I just done..I was supposed to feel so much better but I didn't.
On my drive home, I must have choked on all that cheese because it was if he had died all over again. What had I done to myself? I had been doing "so well" and really functioning, and "making it on my own." That night I fell into the deepest depths of horrible grief again, feeling more alone than ever. I was grieving again like I did in the beginning. I couldn't get out of bed the next morning so I just slept and slept. It's wasn't until late afternoon, as I lay in bed and wondered if I would ever shake this beast, that a sweet blanket of sanity slowly covered me and my despair was lifted. I had grabbed that s.o.b., wrestled it to the ground, strangled it's ugly head and miraculoulsy walked away beaten and bruised...but still me inside...and now the gray page was gone.
I see a beautiful page of untouched white linen paper...300lb...no rag...and it's time to start drawing again...lots of colors, lines and shadows.. but just one line and one crayon at a time.
"We'll learn to draw", says Blanche to Lisa.
"And our dear mother, oh how twill please her.
With pen and paper, I and you,
What wonderful, wonderful things we'll do."