I have a fear

That not me, but others, are going to lose everything. My sister just ushered in this lovely new bundle of joy, and I feel so much love, but also so much fear. I am terrified that something is going to “happen”. Maybe it’s just the fact that they’re still in the hospital that makes me unnerved, but I have so much unrest.

With my family, I am often waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something else to go wrong. It just seems to happen, a lot. I don’t want it to happen anymore – I want to have some freedom to enjoy the happiness before the suck occurs. I know it’s bound to happen, but let me live freely and in the moment for now.

Do other widows find this happens to them? This intense fear that you’re going to watch the ones you love slip away and there will be nothing you can do? I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling, I just didn’t expect these emotions with such a joyous occasion.

I would love some feedback on this…maybe it IS time for therapy…

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Comments 5

  1. You’re not alone. Parents of stillborns especially have them, but widows and widowers do, too. Your apprehensions are so common that “once bitten, twice shy” has become an aphorism.

    On the other hand, I would have thought you had therapy already for your loss. You have done a lot of things that a therapist might suggest doing, and your blog is a major factor. So is your activism. I cringed when I saw you burning that dress, thinking that you might have second thoughts about that; I wish I’d kept something more to remember Em with, although I can’t imagine what it would have been.

    Therapy is necessary when you need to process things you shouldn’t talk to friends about. Friendships are precious. You don’t want to risk them. But therapy is useful even when it’s not absolutely necessary. To me, you seem to be extremely well-adjusted, but I obviously don’t know you well. Sometimes it’s handy to be able to offload some of the burden where it won’t come back to haunt you.

  2. My loss involves the death of my almost 5 month old son, tragically. I find myself holding my breath for my friends when they have newborns. Then I breath a mixed sigh of relief and jealousy when their child makes it to the 5 month mark. I wonder if you have that jealousy aspect of waiting for the other shoe to drop…

  3. I think to a certain degree this is normal. Although if it is very intense then you might want to talk with someone. Brenda, you know we all carry our grief in a different manner and this may just be the way your grief manifests itself.

  4. I could relate to what you posted, and felt a similar way even though our past experiences are different.

    When I was 26 my very best, dearest friend, died of an aggressive form of cancer which came on and took her life in only a few short months. I was utterly devastated to lose her. My heart completely broke for her husband, her 9-month-old daughter, and for her parents-(she was a Daddy’s Girl).

    I remember this like it was yesterday, and I’m crying to think about this: on the morning she was taken off of life support, her sweet father said to me, “Amy, I hope you never have to go through this; I hope you never lose a child.” His pain was palpable, and it broke my heart.

    The following year my son was born, and I was elated and adjusted well. I didn’t worry at all.

    When my daughter was born 20 months after my son, I was elated with her arrival, but SCARED that “what if she dies, like Wendy died?” It felt like a strange feeling, but I did DEEPLY feel that way…perhaps because she was a girl, like my friend who died, and maybe I even felt a little guilty–or maybe saddened is a better word–that while my daughter was alive, my dear friend’s father had lost his precious daughter. I just totally hit home to me how fragile and precarious life can be, and I felt worried, “waiting for the shoe to drop,” as you said.

    It helped me to talk to my minister about it, and over time that fear did dissipate. What I carry from that now is to make a point to be thankful for loved ones and do my best to make the most of our time together, trying to not take their presence for granted–life IS fragile, and we need to show love to others when we have the chance. I also have to repeatedly remind myself that sometimes things will happen that I can’t control or stop…sad things might happen, loss might happen…things just aren’t all under our own control. It’s sometimes very hard to accept that, and I need constant reminders, so that I live my life not in fear.

    I do hope it helps you to know that what you’re feeling is totally normal and there are others who can relate in some way to what you describe. I will say a prayer for you, for continued strength and healing–I think you are doing an incredible job.

    Congratulations on your new baby niece–she’s beautiful, and being an aunt is SO wonderful!!!!!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing – I am going to therapy this Friday to sort through this so that I don’t end up thinking something bad will ALWAYS happen when something wonderful does.

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