Mike and Sarah share Sunday posts, as they are two widows who are in a new relationship together. Today’s post is from Sarah:
I have so much fear of becoming widowed again. Some days, that fear is louder than others… like anticipating my own personal asteroid out there that is going to crash into me on some unknown date in the future, creating a private apocalypse all over again. So I’m sitting here with my telescope trying desperately to locate all the asteroids way ahead of time in some hope that I can veer them off their path before they hit me. It’s exhausting work, especially because in life, we essentially – and quite literally – live in a huge expanse of asteroids that could collide with us at any moment.
Mike and I are going to the courthouse to get married in October… seeing as how the virus has taken away any possibility for doing the big wedding we wanted. We’re going to make it official, sign papers etc, but save vows and a ceremony for when we can be with our loved ones to share it. It is still heartbreaking for me to not have everyone we love there for the official moment. I’ve been trying to tell myself it’ll all be fine, but today, I can’t escape the sadness. And the fear of “what if the unthinkable happens… again”. What if he still dies in the next 2 months before we even make it to the courthouse?! What if there is a 5 mile wide asteroid heading for my life RIGHT NOW and I have no idea!
I’m starting to realize that these fears are probably never going to go away. Not after surviving the trauma of a sudden loss. Even after we get married, I’ll be afraid he’s going to die before we make it to one year. Or before we finally get to have a wedding celebration with our loved ones. Or before we make it to five years, or ten years. I will probably always have fear around happy milestones. I guess all I can do is try to let it out when I need to, and also keep one important thing in my mind as often as I can… something that my counselor told me a few weeks ago…
“Yes, bad things will happen. But not EVERY bad thing is going to happen. And not everything that happens is going to be BAD.”
There was something surprisingly comforting about this simple statement for me. I have found myself repeating this mantra in my head for weeks now. Especially when I start to let the fears creep in and get louder. I’ve been able to remind myself of this statement, and say it over and over again to myself, and it really has helped. Not just to quiet the fear, but to also remember the good, and that for every difficult or painful or “bad” thing that happens, there are also a lot of good ones. That it’s always going to be a mix, but that means there will be a lot of good in the mix.
It reminds me to pay attention to the good things, and to not let them slip by. It reminds me to embrace what IS going well, and the ways that things are happy right now. It reminds me to sit and just watch my life, right now, and stop being so consumed by trying to pinpoint future disasters in the unknown that lies ahead. It’s not my job to search my life for every possible asteroid. I can, instead, put the telescope down and look at what’s right here. Which is sometimes so hard for me to do. But this mantra… “Not EVERY bad thing is going to happen, and not everything that happens is going to be bad” somehow helps me relax a lot and put the telescope down. Some of those asteroids may hit, but not ALL of them will. Some of them will pass by with no affect whatsoever, so spending my days and my energy thinking that each one is going to be the next major disaster in my world doesn’t really do anything but rob me of my life. Instead, I am trying to use this mantra and this idea to help me to only take brief glances into space, just small checks for possible disasters with health and wellness, for example, and otherwise not allow myself to sit and search the skies endlessly for oncoming disasters. I can choose to put the telescope down, and fix my eyes on today.