I have a few pretty common fears – heights, snakes, spiders. Some of my fears are a bit more irrational – driving on the Interstate, using public restrooms. But I have one fear that has plagued me since I became a mother 8 year ago.
I am terrified of becoming a widow.
My husband and I were married a couple of years before we ever had children. I never thought about becoming a widow then. Maybe it’s because we were so young and our marriage was so new. In many ways I felt invincible – thinking that it would be 50 or 60 years before we ever dealt with anything related to one of us passing away.
But the years moved on, we had three children, and suddenly the end became more real. We started talking retirement, life insurance, making wills, and final wishes. We made plans for the “someday” and it hit me that the “someday” could actually be anytime.
See, I’m not afraid of becoming a widow in 60 years. By that time we will have had an amazing amount of time to share our journey. We would have written our love story, seen it played out for a few generations, and be ready for the finality that comes with growing old.
My fear is that it will happen before all that. I don’t want to become a widow before my husband and I have even had a chance to really live. 10 years of marriage isn’t long enough. We haven’t done enough yet. There are dreams to live out, kids to watch grow, morning to stay in bed with our coffee, and the rest of our story to write. I am afraid that the other shoe will drop and my happy ending will be cut short.
I know how important it is to be grateful for every day – Carpe Diem and all that. And I do my best to exist with the understanding that I must appreciate and embrace every moment I’m given with my family. And I certainly don’t let this fear take away from living. But, if we’re being real – if we are putting all our cards on the table – I am afraid this amazing man I married will leave me too soon. I may never be ready to let him go, but I need my 60 years. It’ll take at least that long to show him how much he means to me.
This post was inspired by Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman. After being kicked out of her widow support group for being too young, Becky creates her own support group with an unusual twist. Join From Left to Write on February 14 as we discuss Saturday Night Widows. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.Neena