Afraid of Living

It's not something we think about or contemplate while we are in the grip of our grief. More then likely, we are instead, wanting to join the one we lost. Death becomes none scary after the worst has happened. Suddenly, we have no fear of dying, not for ourselves anyway. The world has lost it magic, that hold it welded over us. Now, we are strangers on a strange planet and we are ready to get off of this world. We look at those we love, we know we still love them, but the glue has flaked away. Even loving them, at first, is not enough to make us want to stay here. If anything, it causes the opposite due to the fact that fear of losing them too becomes almost intolerable. We now know how suddenly, without remorse, death steps up.

The night I walked in and found my son, it was an immediate change, not gradual, but immediate. Your eyes see, your mind denies. If you are lucky, a fog will envelope you until you are ready to acknowledge what your eyes have told you. I'm not sure if we even realize that our minds are protecting us until we finally step out into the light again and look back into the darkness. I shudder to think how much worse it might have been without that layer of protection? I can not even imagine that it could be worse, with the horror already felt. I wonder if that is why the second year seems so much more painful. The veil that separated us is slowly lifting, allowing us to feel more. I don't want to feel more, but do know that it also dampened my feelings toward everything, not just his loss. Like getting the feeling back in a limb that went to sleep. Does that mean we are stronger now so we can take more? Whoa, I don't know, I don't feel stronger to me.

It's easy to slip into a world of loss. Too easy. One quits going out, communicating, loving, feeling excitement or anticipation. One quits living. We fear living. Living means feeling, loss, sorrow, hurt. Living means thinking, and already our minds are overloaded with our loss, how much more room is there? We don't want the sun to rise, the moon to glow, the beauty to penetrate the darkness. We just want to close our eyes and call it 'over.' We see the future as blank, filled with pain. We ask others on this path how long, how long until we feel like ourselves again. They look at us with sadness because the words they have to speak are not the ones we are looking for. We will never be who we were. Parts of us are left, but chunks of us are gone. We have to learn a new way of living. No, we don't want to. Whats the point? The only real light is the possibility that this sharp, cutting pain, may ease into sadness, maybe, no guarantees. It all depends on if we are willing to go the distance or not, and to begin with, 'not' is more likely.

We are afraid to live and don't even know it. Beauty brings tears and sadness, memories are more then painful. We do not have the ability to make sense of what has happened, the effort is exhausting. So much easier to curl up and let the world pass us by, so much easier. I think I must be a fighter for it makes me angry when I see myself withdraw from everything. The struggle leaves me overwhelmed some days, yet fight is what is left. I allow myself days of nothing, but only days. Not every day and not as often as in the beginning. We have to rest at some point, let the hurt have its way, let the tears run. What we force ourselves to do to begin with, becomes easier as time goes by. Nothing comes natural anymore. We have to do it over and over again until it becomes a part of us, becomes natural to that point we do it without thinking. Yeah, it's like starting from the beginning, from birth. Nothing much really comes natural to a babe, most of it is taught and learned.

I didn't want to love anyone for so long. Fear of losing them too made me back away not knowing, in itself, that is loss too. It was another emotional hump to get over. Have you stopped loving some people and they are no longer in your life? We fight that one too, thinking it is unnatural to stop loving those we have loved for so long. We are told that we must not have loved them in the first place. I don't believe that. I'm talking about the ones still living. I think that when we are at our most hurt, love depends on how we are treated at that time. It can either bring us closer or pull us away. Its not something many talk about or even acknowledge to themselves. Love can die as surely as your loved one. I let the guilt of that go. It was not chosen, it just is.

I still have fear. Leaving the house is a big deal, but I do leave. Loving is scarier because I know the pain of loss, yet I love more. I am finding my way back to the ones I love. The sorrow? I think it is for a life time that changes as we grow and change, always there but different. "Forever Mom"

About the Author

 My son, Tim, passed on January 5th 2014 at the age of 34. He chose to end his life. So many things happened to bring him to that point. Believe it or not, I understand why. No matter how our child died, that is the keyword 'our child.' I wish you all gentle days and nights as you walk your path. Barbara, 'Forever Mom.'

I'm Grieving, Now What?