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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Greatest Fear

I used to cry myself to sleep.
Regularly.
I felt so bad for my new husband. He was going to die because he married me.
And he didn't even know it.

Laying in my bed, his warm youthful body next to me, I would fall asleep imagining his funeral. I envisioned myself as a widow and somewhere between vowing to wear black for the rest of my life and picking out his headstone I would fall into another night of fitful sleep.

My maternal grandmother was widowed at a very young age. My mother says her father was a delightful man - the polar opposite of her step father. My grandmother's second husband also died. Although of what I don't know. My mother is like a locked vault when it comes to family history.

Mom was also widowed at a very young age. My father died when I was barely a year old. He was shot while out on security duty. My mother remarried and while my step father is still alive he had a brush with death when I was 8 years old. I'll never forget the evening when the hospital called our home beckoning my mother to the emergency room as soon as possible. She left preparing to identify his body. Thank God he recovered and incidentally never drank an ounce of alcohol again.



So, twenty years ago, when I married - when I should have been enjoying and building our new lives together, I secretly wept. I knew a curse when I saw it. My soul sensed trouble ahead. I was simply convinced of the ridiculous notion that I was destined to become a young widow like my mother and grandmother.

This fear solidly gripped my life for the first two years of our marriage until I realized I was allowing my imaginations to ruin my real experiences. That's when I decided no more!

It was a long and spiritual journey but I'm happy to report that those thoughts and fears don't invade my life anymore. I'm not afraid of car accidents and cancers. I don't pick out songs or bible passages for funeral services. After a lot of hard work and mental disciplines I am able to live and love freely and fully. And life is now so much more enjoyable.
Also, hubby didn't die.
That helps too.




read to be read at yeahwrite.me This blog entry is a writing prompt with the YeahWrite crew! I invited you to check them out. There are some fantastic writers and it's a wonderfully supportive community!








30 comments:

  1. Was just trying to figure out how to explain to my husband how a fear like that can cripple and stand in the way of authentic living. (His is a different fear, but the cost is similar.) My husband periodically goes off to dangerous places, and I try to find that balance of trying to cherish time together without overdramatizing it or worrying too much. I'm happy you were able to let go a little bit (and that it didn't come true.)

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    1. Thank you. I send you all my blog love as you & hubby deal with your own fears. They are not fun. They are little devils. I hope the best for your future.

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  2. My husband is a police officer and I loathe late night calls or if he's late home from a shift. It always sends me into a panic. I can totally relate and somewhere along the line I also learned to let go of the fear. There's no point in ruining the now over the what ifs.

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    1. "ruining the now over the what ifs"
      so true
      and hard
      but worth overcoming!
      I'll pray for his safety!

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  3. What a great post! I live in a place of worry and fear almost daily - and it robs me of the "here and now". Thank you for sharing this story - it is powerful, and very helpful.

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    1. Oh my! How happy I am that my little piece brings you hope. Honestly, I almost didn't go with this YeahWrite prompt as it seems so personal and honestly, embarrassing. But it was worth it for my mental health and if you are encouraged through it ... then I'm so thankful. I hope you can find a place of mental peace! xo

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  4. I used to be terrified pretty much every day it rained and my father went to work. That anxiety still plagues me to this day.

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    1. I'm sorry. Fear can be completely gripping. I hope that you live in a very sunny place.

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  5. It's difficult to let go of those kinds of fears...to not let them take over your entire life.

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    1. sigh, I agree. So very difficult! Thanks for reading my little confession! (and for visiting my blog)

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  6. Hooray! I am glad for your ability to live in the moment and enjoy all that you have. I'm sure it took much work and soul-searching. Ellen

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    1. Soul searching, fo' sure!
      It was painful to dig that deep inside myself but the freedom I've found on the other side makes every tear worth it! Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  7. I'm happy for your happy ending. That had to be tough getting over it considering the history. I have a friend who has yet to get over it. She knows so many people (an inordinate amount, I have to admit) who have died. People who were close to her. She maintains a distance now not allowing herself to get to close for fear of their safety. It's a terrible burden. I can only imagine the strength involved to overcome such a thing. I'm glad you did!

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    1. Thank you Steph (nice name :) )
      I'm sorry for your friends loss. They are very real griefs with potentially paralyzing effects. I hope through your friendship she finds encouragement and the freedom to get close to another again. Because that would be sad if she missed out on the intimacy friends and other loved ones can bring. Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Glad you are living free of those fears and staying in the present moment. It is hard to sometimes not feel cursed by the pattern set before us, but all we can do is take each day as it comes. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. I'm happy for you! Conquering fears, especially irrational ones, is tough. My husband thinks he'll die before at 60 but only because every other man in his family has. I think it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, personally. You should see how these men eat! :-)

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    1. Id hate to even put my mind to the power of self prophecy. That is why I'm convinced it was imperative fo me to shit put my fear.

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  10. These kinds of fears are so tough to beat - good for you for conquering them!

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  11. We don't have to entertain every silly little thought that enters our heads. Unfortunately, we often forget to kick out those unwanted guests.

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    1. That was precisely the key for me! Learning that just cuz it pops in there doeant mean I have to nurture it! Thoughhts are choices!

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  12. Very glad your husband has survived this obviously dangerous marriage! The image you as a young bride, weeping next to your husband's sleeping body, is a memorable one. Fears become a habit and we all know habits are hard to break; good for you.

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    1. thank you! and good news while we've lost the youthfulness (celebrating 20 years this month) we still enjoy going to be together every night!

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  13. For me it's a fear that my son will die. Here's the absurd chain of coincidences that lead me to this conclusion.
    My grandmother was 26 when she had her first child.
    My mother was 26 when she had her first child.
    I was 26 when I had my first child.

    My grandmother waited 3 years between kids. Girl then boy.

    Mom waited 5. Girl then girl.

    I waited three. Girl then boy.

    My grandmother's youngest (her son) died at age 21. (Fell off a cliff. Everybody heartbroken.)
    My Mom's youngest daughter died at age 26. (suicide. No loss. Long story.)

    My son is five. I cannot live his life terrified that he will precede me in death. And yet? I understand exactly why you were paranoid in those early years.

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    1. I do think there is something to be said in recognizing the patterns. But we dont have to give life to the fear and dread. It is a hard discipline though! Thanks for reading!

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  14. I am so glad you are no longer crying yourself to sleep over this and that the last twenty years have proven that coincidence is just that: coincidence. Many happy years to you and your hubby!

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  15. i totally get getting wrapped up in a fear; it's hard to let go of sometimes. glad you've been able to! and glad the hubs is still around. :)

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  16. That must have been so difficult for you! I'm glad you were able to move past the fear.

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  17. I am so glad that you have found a way to not let those fears control your life!
    My Dad was also killed when I was very young (21 months, my sister was 3 months), so I can identify with that fear and can see how it can be magnified if there was a family history of it!
    You did a great job writing this one.

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