Fear of Loss
After the death of my son Noah I was stricken with the fear of losing another family member, particularly my wife. Whenever we were not together, I would worry that something bad was going to happen to her. The thought of someone else in my life dying caused me great anxiety because I was convinced I wouldn’t survive it; I still wasn’t sure if I was going to survive the death of my children, adding more to the pile was hard to imagine.
I knew it wasn’t logical thinking, but after the death of a child, logic doesn’t always come into play because your world has been turned inside out. The thought that “bad things only happen to other people” goes away and you start to realize bad things can happen to me or anyone else at any given time. The loss of feeling “in control” is gone and the feeling of “out of control” quickly sets in.
As time progresses, logic starts to come back and the fear of someone else in your life dying goes away. However, you never forget that bad things can and will happen, it’s just a matter of time. It helps you look at life a little different; in a more realistic way, a good way on many levels.
The reason I am writing about this subject matter is the fact that many people experience this after the death of a child. You don’t fear you own death, but you do fear losing someone close to you. This past weekend I had a scare, with someone that I love deeply, was going to die in front of me and the emotions of the fear rushed over me. This someone helped me change my life after the death of my son Noah. They helped pull me out of the despair, depression and grief that had been smothering me for months.
This someone is one of my best friends that wiped away my tears and was always there to pick me up when I wasn’t doing well. I like to refer to him as my furry angel. My dog Buddy. My wife and I never had a dog until we got Buddy about 10 months after the death of my son. He was just a puppy but he would listen to me every morning before I leave for work and was always there to greet me when I got home. He is almost 5 years old and has become a very important part of our lives. We have no living children and my wife jokingly calls Buddy “her third child”.
I think Buddy is going to be fine, but the fear of loss revisited me this week. We were probably overreacting to some of the symptoms he had, but after several tests, our minds are put a little more at rest. I know the death of Buddy wouldn’t be nearly as bad as losing a child, I want to be clear about that. I don’t want anyone to think I am comparing the two, because I am not. But he is loved very deeply. The realization that he will eventually die and my wife and I will have to say goodbye to him stirs up a lot of emotions from the past. A lot of emotions I thought were gone.
Have you experienced the fear of anyone else in your life dying?