On September 26th of this year, I will turn 50 years old.
This has been freaking me out for awhile now. Turning 50. For multiple reasons.
First, there’s the whole “I’m older than my dead husband ever got to be” thing, which has been weirding me out ever since I turned 46, which is the age he was when he collapsed, went into cardiac arrest, and died. So there’s that, and it is forever weird.
Then, there is the whole “I’m doing things that my dead husband never got to do” thing, such as me and my very much alive husband searching for a house sometime later this year. This is also forever weird, because Don and I never got to buy a house together, because he died before we got to that place, and now here I am, almost 50, and looking to finally become a home-owner. I do NOT feel guilty. It has never been about feeling guilty. I know that Don would want me to live a joyful and beautiful life and be happy and have good things. His greatest joy when he was alive was seeing me happy and watching me catch my dreams and fulfill them, so I dont feel guilty.
It is more of an overall sadness type feeling – just incredibly sad that he doesnt get to experience more life, more joy, more moments. I am sad that he has to be dead , and maybe this is one of those few times where I wish I was just the tiny bit religious, because then I could believe that him being dead was a glorious thing and he would be in heaven and meeting Jesus and whatever other glorious things happen when you die, according to those of faith. But since I dont believe in those things, I dont know what happens , and I only know what I believe; which is that we live on through those we leave behind, whenever they tell our story. I also believe and feel strongly that Don is part of the universe – he is stardust and sunsets and specks of ocean sky. He is both everywhere and nowhere, and his energy is well and alive but I dont know the form it has taken. And because I dont know what he is now and how aware he is of me and my current life and other such things, I dont find too much comfort in the feeling that his spirit and energy is alive. There are times when I feel him close, and when I do feel a sense of comfort, but those moments are short and fleeting, and I hold onto them in the same way that one attempts holding onto a butterfly.
Then there is the age of 50 itself – what it means, what it represents. People say all the time about how its only a number, and you are only as old as you feel, and blah blah blah. Sure, those are valid points. What is also valid is each day you get older, you are closer to being OLD, and each day you get old, you are closer to being invisible and having more aches and pains and forgetting things and not feeling purpose and having to experience more and more friends and family and loved ones dying, over and over and over. Uplifting, huh? There are nights I cant sleep because I am up thinking about this kind of foolishness, and I know it does me little good to obsess over it, but I can’t help it. I wish I could be calmer and less anxiety-ridden about things such as aging and death and facing more loss – but “panic now – think later!” has always sort of been my go-to response. It takes a lot for me to be in a state of relaxation. Most of the time Im on edge or on the edge of being on edge about something, or about something that MIGHT possibly happen, and my brain goes round and round ….
Bottom line is, Im going to be 50 this year, and right now, I only have about 7.5 months left to panic about it, so I figure I’d better get started early. So why not January? If anyone who is reading this and is 50 or older or knows others who are over 50 and living a fabulous life, feel free to tell me all about them. Maybe it will help. Or maybe I will just keep panicking anyway. Its what I do best.