Once you lose someone close to you very unexpectedly your perspective on life and death changes drastically. At least this is the case for me. Death is inevitable and one day we will all know it.
Suddenly the thought of death surrounds me at every corner. Anxiety keeps me awake and ravages my mind every time my husband leaves for work, every time I have to go out in the world alone and often times when I have too much free time to let my mind wander. Simple things like getting in a car or knowing that someone close to me will be taking a car ride always gives me an urgent feeling to be cautious because it could be our/their last.
It’s almost been ten years since I lost my dad suddenly in an automobile accident and this uneasy feeling hasn’t gotten any easier.
I notice it when it is hard to put into words for my husband about why I have anxiety on Sunday, knowing he will be headed to another work week. A week where he drives a winding mountain road and then proceeds to work with heavy equipment that requires extreme safety measures. What if something happens to Scott and the baby never gets to meet him? I notice it to when, I say goodbye to a friend or family member after time spent together. Will this be our last memory together?
I often obsess about what it would be like in a world without me, a close friend or family member. What would I want to say at their funeral? Would other people realize how much that person meant to me? On a scale of one to ten how sad would I be? How long would it take for me to overcome the initial shock and devastation? Will I be one of the lucky ones that gets to grow old with my husband and children? Or will one of us get taken before we are ready? How much time is there before I have to mourn someone close to me again?
These are morbid thoughts. They are thoughts from a person who has experience a death close to their heart. Do these thoughts make me wiser than you? Probably not. I am probably just more anxious and hyperaware of the life around me. Sometimes it can be hard to live fully when you know death is imminent. Once you know death, you can’t unknow it.