At the end of last summer, my brilliant, compassionate, friend-to-everyone (myself included) Father died suddenly of a heart attack. I miss him reverently.
That loss, that insane, intense loss, sent me into a tailspin. Because he wasn’t young, but he wasn’t old either. He was 72-years-old. He still worked part-time as a contractor after retiring 25 years ago. He was supposed to be in the prime of his life, and now he was dead, and I was lost.
So I don’t think about tomorrows the same anymore. I think a lot about the todays now.
And I worry about the fact that a man could seem so okay one day and end up dead the next day.
Now that my father died before his time, I worry about my husband. Besides the fact that I love my husband, and our children love him, and a massive community loves him, I need him. He’s the glue that keeps our family together, and I’m so worried that stress will be the death of him.
I can’t imagine having to do this without him. I can’t handle that.
I realise that your mind messes with you after a traumatic loss. I get that. But my heart? My heart is the organ that controls the worry that feeds my head. And I’m constantly thinking of ways to help my husband stress less. This means I’m always nagging him, which I realise only adds to his stress level and feeds my anxieties.
Like the day your baby takes his first steps, and you realise nothing will ever be under your control again, I need to learn to let my fear go, and accept the things that are out of my control.
They say acceptance is the last stage of grief. Maybe when I reach that point I’ll stop thinking we could have done more to increase my dad’s time on this earth. I hope. Only time will tell.
Right now? I’m going to live my life and appreciate every minute I have with my husband.