After reading Maryjo's post last night about her friend suddenly dying of a brain aneurysm, I had a brief breakdown (crying & digging deeper into why I'm feeling this way). What happened to her friend is exactly my fear -- dying suddenly & leaving my young daughters. In my fears, it's a brain aneurysm, a car accident, a freak accident, etc. All this started about 6 months ago when I had chest pains (pulled/strained muscles). All the heart tests came back normal, so that's not really a fear anymore. But it kicked off my health anxiety. And while I feel like I'm getting some control over the HA fear, there's still that deeper fear of *boom* I'm just gone. But after my meltdown last night, I'm beginning to see the light -- I have no control over that type of thing happening. It's scary as hell, but that's just how it is. And I HAVE to let it go. It's ironic that I'm wasting all these months worrying about dying & leaving my family, meanwhile I could be LIVING my life & enjoying my kids. It's insane!
Thinking about it last night, I realized something that I probably already knew: this fear stems from lots of sudden losses throughout my life. My paternal grandfather died suddenly when I was 8. I don't remember this at all, but I do remember talking to my maternal grandmother about it after the funeral. She told me she didn't want me to cry when she was gone. Which is the kicker because it was her death, when I was 12, that has haunted me the most. We were super close & the whole family would spend Sundays at her house. And it was a Monday morning that she died. It was sudden, never got to say good-bye. Shortly after, both my godmother & her mother also passed away suddenly. My godmother was young, but I think it was cancer that was never diagnosed because she didn't have regular exams. When I was in my early 20's, my dad's brother passed away suddenly (he had severe allergies due to being exposed to chemicals at a job when he was young & they believe he had a severe asthma attack). Add in numerous friends & acquaintances over the years who have passed suddenly, who's death came as a shock. The latest being my parents' neighbor of 20+ years who had a heart attack -- she was in her 50's, just had her first grandchild -- so sad. It's just so hard to accept people being here one day & the next day they're gone.
I guess the "good" thing about people dying suddenly is that they didn't suffer (hopefully). It's just so hard on those of us who are left saying good-bye when it's too late. But shouldn't this really be a wake-up call? To live life, enjoy the people you're with, let them know how you feel, etc? Because one day, our time is up whether we're ready or not. Whether our families & friends are ready or not. And there's no control over that.
Sorry for the super serious post. I will end it on a lighter note. This is for those of us jumping to conclusions & getting ourselves worked up over nothing. I saw a partial obituary for someone in my area who had the same name as someone I used to know through a previous job. The age seemed about right. And I started getting upset, remembering talking to this guy at work, remembering a former co-worker who was pretty close to this guy & wondering how she's doing, thinking about his wife & kids, etc. This morning the full obituary was posted -- and it's not the same guy! Just someone with the same name, close in age, from the same area. I felt relieved & also ridiculous for getting myself so worked up over something that wasn't even what I thought it was (not that I don't feel bad for this other unknown guy's family). It's a reminder to take a deep breath & not immediately think the worst. The funny thing is that if I ever run into this guy & tell him I thought he died, he'd probably laugh his ass off (because that's how he is).