Death has been on my mind a lot the past week, and I don’t even know why. There haven’t been any major milestones or triggers. No birthdays of people who are dead. No death anniversaries. No real explanation, yet I’ve been unable to shake these shadowy figures in my mind. The haunting things I know will one day happen to more people I love. And to me. And it just plain sucks.
It could be something as small as not getting good sleep lately, or the muscle strain I’ve had in my neck for the past 3 weeks that won’t seem to subside… or even just the lingering winter weather that will not seem to go away here in Ohio.
I suppose the one thing that has been a trigger was an email from my aunt - giving me some old lab results about cancers my aunt and grandmother had. It's information I needed for sure, but still hard to swallow. They both survived their breast cancer, unlike my mom. Still though, it makes it very likely that either my sister or I, or both of us, will one day be told we have cancer too. It’s quite possibly the most terrifying thing imaginable to me... facing this particular disease showing up in some way in my life again...
It probably terrifies me even more to imagine my sister getting cancer. Or my brothers. While most people fear their parents dying - since mine died young I didn’t have as much time to anticipate their not being alive. Not the way I do with my siblings dying. And then the whole thing spirals into thinking about my best friends getting ill or dying. And of course my new partner too.
Normally these sorts of things are passing thoughts. Most days when they pop up, I’m able to fight them off… tell myself I don’t have any control over any of that so it’s best not to spend time worrying. And usually that works. But lately these thoughts seem to be getting to me more. Or feeling more real maybe as I am now leaning into the second half of my thirties.
After so much loss already, it’s hard not to fear more of it. But I guess that’s the struggle for all of us. No one is immune to feeling their own mortality… especially after what we’ve all been through. On the days when the fear gets us, it just really sucks. What else is there to say? I know you all get it.
For now, I’m trying to focus myself back on the positives… trying to get my head out of all the worry and fear that doesn’t serve me and to things that bring me joy and help me relax. After all, there's no sense wasting precious time on all the "what if"s. It’s not always easy, but I will keep hope that tomorrow will be a better day.