Death Becomes Her - Dealing with Fear





Fall in October is the wonderful time of year for color leaves and pumpkin spice; but shadows lurk as Halloween approaches. Spooky stores are shoved into once abandoned buildings and pumpkins are carved into Jack-lanterns to light the paths to strangers’ doorways; Inviting the chance of treats for innocent children portraying goblins, zombies and ghost. Yet, in the spirit of Halloween, we enlist to be frightened, lining up outside of haunted houses, trails, sanitariums, and cornfields anticipating a fearful scare.  

“Spiders, snakes and rats, oh my!”

While we volunteer ourselves to witness blood bath horrors while chomping on popcorn in the dark, there comes a point when we are forced to confide in our worse fears during the reality of life.

If we didn’t suppress our fears, kicking them to our gut, masking with brave, most of us would most likely end up in our homes 24/7. Unless your biggest fear is spiders; then you will have to take additional precautions to prevent the eight legged critters from finding your basement cracks. (Which by the way, I’m a spider fan, thanks to Charlotte’s Web)  While spiders might not be on my ‘to kill’ list, senseless, hard-shell June Bugs, and snakes are honored to be there.  Truth is I’m more likely to run from these things than to kill them, killing isn’t much in my nature. As much as I’ve tried to educate myself on snakes, I still cannot keep straight which will poison me, so unless a zoo keeper is standing with the coil creature around his hand, I will avoid it at all cost.  But how did I even come to touch a snake?

Education. Swallowing Fear. Observation. Logic.

I have used these methods to tackle loneliness, depression and the constant dread of failure that lurks in corners of my today. While I have managed to tame and restrain these worries, there is one fear that continues to feed on my heart and soul.

Death.

My own death is of little concern to me, I’ve made peace with the Lord and myself. Heck, struggling from depression for so many years, you balance a thin line of life in your darkest moment, which confronts you to imagine a world without you. That being said, it was those of the living, ones I love, that gave me the strength to force forward and get the help I needed. For, my own death brings me little to no fear.

It is death of the ones I love, the loss, the pain, the anger… this is what I fear. (Ironically, my fear was only magnified after the passing of my grandma a little over a week ago.)  

I’ve said it before and will tell you now, on a slim chance of maybe some you are fortunate enough to not know... “The hardest thing about LIFE is DEATH.”
Me and Grandma P.

This is difficult for me to write to a social audience, I realize so many have lost so much sooner than I ever had to. However, losing my 101year old grandma lately, it made me acknowledge more than ever, “There is never enough time, when it comes to losing someone you love.”

There can be some odd logical comfort our brain uses to soothe us when our love one is no longer suffering at a Hospice, but it doesn’t always soothe the selfishness of still desiring them to be with us.

While I lost a great grandma at the age of six and a grandpa at the age of thirteen, it wasn’t until the age of sixteen when we lost our family dog that caused me into terrible grievances. To any non-animal lover, that may sound shallow, but as a teenager, one of my best friends and confidants was gone forever. Dying peacefully at home, should have given me comfort, but instead I just wanted our sixteen year-old, blonde, Cocker Spaniel to return to our everyday routines.  I didn’t care that she was old and brittle, all I knew was that I loved her unconditionally, the way she loved me, and for months that pain would haunt me every night. I’d wake in the middle of the night, tears drenched my pillow from a dream I had, and while to some people she was most likely ‘just a dog,’ to me she was my best friend, Tina.
Tina

Back then, a heavy church-goer and practicing Christian, I recognized how blessed I was for this to me my first enormous loss, yet it brought little comfort during my grief.

As I grew older, heartbreak felt like almost a certain death itself, it was effortless to steer any negative thoughts since I was blessed in my safety bubble.

Until… grandpa passed…. And after all my energies of mourning were spent indulging in grandma’s emotional well-being with daily phone calls and overnight stays, she past about a year later. I know I tease about how much I enjoy wine now, but if ever there was a time in my life to fear the poison of alcoholism it was then. A few years later my dad passed. Like dominoes, my world began to crumble around me. Holidays of all I knew and loved appeared as memories in snow globes, shaken by a forceful hand, allowing trapped memories to be viewed from the outside, a painful twist to the heart.

I stayed strong when dad passed, for a while… but when coping became most difficult and walls were most silent I indulged in alcohol. Then I had to find purpose all over again to lead me out of the toxic torture to a brighter path.

(L) Me with Grandma & Grandpa R. (R) Me with my Dad
I mostly avoid the news. It will take me days and sometimes weeks to recover from a disaster in our country or another where lives are lost. People who are harmed or die way before their time, friends and family who lose ones they love…it is the people they have left behind that I grieve for, because I know I never want that to be me. My heart literally aches when people I know are dealing with loss.

When anyone I love tries to prep me for what to do after they pass, I avoid it. Avoiding is the unhealthy method I choose; but if every day, when I were to leave my 101 year old grandma, if I didn’t plan to see her in a few days, I could have never left. If I knew when people in my family would pass, I would never be able to leave their side. I make sure everyone I love knows it, and I will tell them every time I talk to them on the phone or in person. If I say I Love You, I mean it, with all my heart, and it is my way of making sure you will never doubt who you are in my life. Rather it be family, friends, or my significant other, if I say the three words, it is not in vain. If something in this world were to take you away tomorrow, I want you to understand how much I care, that my life will be less without your essence.

Maternity Photo Shoot - BLH Photography
"Life After Death"
Death is a horrible fear to have. In living life there is no escaping the inevitable. Unfortunately, you can only continue to try and cope in better ways, after someone  you love moves on.

Here is my advice for you. “Never take life for granite. Don’t treat people like they will always be here, because you never know when they won’t be. Try to live each day as if it might be your last. Never say Never.”

May your fear not hold you back and may you always find courage to move forward.

PS: I dedicate this blog week to all those that have touched my life ~ you will never be forgotten. 

Loving Thoughts,

~Rebecca
#KeepingITReal

What is your biggest Fear? How do you handle it?
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