Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 7: I fear death

Day 7, Tuesday: The thing(s) you're most afraid of

I didn't feel like writing this post for #posteverydayinmay yesterday. It meant missing a day of the challenge but I'm afraid of feeling uncomfortable and we covered that a couple of days ago. And I just didn't feel like going there. I had an awesome, yet exhausting, day yesterday. Why ruin it by thinking about my fears?

The number one thing I'm afraid of that wasn't mentioned in the 'uncomfortable' post is losing any member of my family.

My family is my life.

I woke up this morning to this text from my sister:

"She's very lucky to have an aunty like you and a cousin like Noo.
                 What a special family we are!"

I'm sure Yo won't mind me quoting her here. She was talking about the big day Noo, Mala (my 16 month old niece) and I had out and about yesterday. I look after both kids on Tuesdays and we had our first big outing together yesterday. Yolanda said Mala was so happy and content last night after such a fun day.

Tears are starting to prick the back of my eyes. Just thinking about my family and how wonderful it is brings tears of happiness but also sadness... because we are talking about my fears here. Losing any one of them would devastate me.

We all understand the cycle of life. How does the saying go? The only certainties in life are death and taxes. But I don't want anyone of my family to die. Ever.

When my nan died in 1989 was one of the saddest times in my life. My own experience of her death was horrible but watching my mother's grief was heartbreaking. My mum and I talk about my nan all the time. My mum tells me how she dreams about my grandmother and wakes up missing her as much as she did the day she died. I never want to miss my mum. I want her to live forever. The thought of my mum not being here with me is almost too hard to handle.

My fear of losing my son is too awful to even talk about. I absolutely cannot fathom what losing a child would feel like. My mother lost her first born just six weeks after she was born. She still feels the pain of that loss almost 60 years later.

At the recent Digital Parents Conference I heard the extraordinarily brave mum, Rachel from Mummy Muddles, talk about the loss of her 20 month old son to pool drowning. I listened with respect for her grief, amazement at her bravery and ability to speak in front of an audience about it so soon after, and in awe of the beauty of her words. Until it became too uncomfortable. When someone writes with such vivid clarity you cannot help but put yourself in the picture as you hear each word. At one point in Rachel's story I couldn't handle it any more and realised I started chanting in my head "detach, detach, detach" over and over.

Almost everyone in the room listening to Rachel recount the day her son died was crying. Some were sobbing. It was an incredibly moving and sad moment. Completely unexpected at a blogging conference! I didn't cry because I did what I always do to survive: I avoided feeling.

I believe my sobriety is absolutely rock solid but should one of my family die? I don't know if I could handle feeling that sort of pain. That is what I fear. Death and oblivion.

Anyway! Way too depressing to talk about. Fingers crossed the next #blogeverydayinmay topic is less morbid.

What do you fear?


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Kylie Purtell said...

Oh V, I so could have written this post, almost word for word. One of my family dying is also my biggest fear. And I did exactly the same thing as you when Rachel was talking at DPCon, I just couldn't do it, I found it so hard to hear her story because I just kept picturing Punky and I would have lost it.

I always tell Dave that I am going to die before he does because I couldn't handle the grief of losing him. But with Punky? I want to die before her so I never have to experience that grief. But then I think about how absolutely crushing losing my own Mum will be and I don't ever want Punky to have to experience that kind of grief. Sadly its inevitable though, that she and I will feel that kind of grief one day. It just doesn't bear thinking about!

Paula Kaye said...

I agree with you that all this talk is so upsetting. I am ready to move on to happier things to blog about


Claudia littlecottagebiglife said...

I hear ya on this one V, TOTALLY! I lost my Nanna when I was 17 and my Dad went nuts. I had never seen him like that. He talks about her and he dreams of her all the time and he says when there is a butterfly around him, thats her coming to say hello. Its funny how we can find coping mechanisms in the strangest ways. Then in 2008 we lost a child. It is the hardest most devastating thing we have ever had to deal with. Its really hard to talk about out loud and I hardly ever mention it because I immediately burst into tears. I cried at DPCON13 too, but I had to try to control myself or I would have really lost it in front of everyone. And that is not something I ever want to do. said...

Death is definitely the hardest thing in life. Let's hope we all live to very old age! V. said...

I haven't read ahead what all the topics are so each will be a surprise. I really hope there's some happier ones coming up soon! V. said...

You were really brave to sit through Rachel's story Claudia. Her writing is so vivid that is no wonder that so many people were crying with her words. I just can't imagine your pain or that of anyone who has lost a child. Hugs to you. V.

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