Life and Death
I'm not one for the drama right? Well, outwardly not too much, but inwardly, um yeah.
In any case, I had a very rude awakening a many nights ago. I had one of those dreams that feels so real when you wake up, it takes a few moments to establish whether or not it was actually a dream or a memory. It was also the kind of dream I would term as a nightmare as I woke up in the early morning hours, sobbing into my pillow. Not just crying mind you, but breath gasping sobbing. This is of course what I was doing in my dream, but it has to be pretty powerful to affect my physical state that way. (i.e. I'm not a sleepwalker or talker or anything like that) The worst part of the dream was not just the crying, but the pain. The emotional pain that actually felt like a giant hole punched through my chest. (see the drama?)
I dreamed that my husband had suddenly died. Natural causes and all, but unexpectedly. Even as I try to write this, I am tearing up as I remember the feeling of emptiness. Walking around my house, laying down in bed, just trying to live with this giant empty space around me. Easily one of the most horrific dreams I have ever experienced. Everything physical was the same, the furniture, his clothes, all of the temporal things we have acquired were there, but he was gone and not coming back. Even once I was awake, I had to lightly touch his arm, to be sure that he was real, naturally he thought I was losing it.
I often joke with my kids that Dad will die before me, because he would never survive without me, not knowing where the duct tape is, or the pancake turner. I knew at the moment I realized that it was just a dream, that I would certainly never be able to survive without him. I'm not sure how the Lord is going to work that one out, but I think I have decided that death is not something I am equipped to deal with. I have never lost anyone close to me, but after experiencing the feeling, the emotion of that dream, I have come as close as possible without having to suffer that in reality. I am afraid that I now know exactly what it will be like if/when I lose a loved one.
I know what happens in theory after we die. I know the doctrine. But the actuality of it scares me more than anything in this world. One thing I know after this is that I was taking him for granted. Just his being there. Singing silly nonsense songs, teasing the kids, smiling sheepishly when I find him playing Facebook games and he knows he should be doing something better with his time. This was the most forceful emotional experience I have had in years. The last being the night of our second date when I began crying on the way home because I realized I was leaving for college and would be states away from this guy (who I barely knew) and I just couldnt handle the thought of leaving him. It sounds silly and dramatic, but that was how it was for me in the beginning. Now that I have been by his side for almost 13 years, that feeling has only grown stronger. There are days I want to throw him out a window, but I suspect that has more to do with me than him. He's not perfect, I of course know all the reasons why not, but then, I am not exactly a poster child for the easy to live with.
I have always known (at least since our second date) that we were intended to be together. I am not one to claim soulmates, because that is not how I was raised. But for some obvious reasons and for some reasons I cannot even begin to fathom, the Lord planned for us to be together. The things I have learned from him and the many ways he has helped me to become a better person are testament enough for me. Just yesterday, I saw a picture of my parents on facebook. My dad was smiling (which he never does in pictures), and they were holding on to each other. Growing up I always took their marriage for granted, deep down I always knew they loved each other, but I never really thought about it much. It was just the way it was. But when I saw that picture I saw such a degree of love and companionship in their eyes, that I almost cried. I now want that. They do have a 30 year start on me, but I know I can get there. Or rather, we can get there, together.
This life is precious. My husband is precious. So are my children. And both sets of parents. I pray that when the time comes I will be ready to let go of the one who is ready to move on. In the meantime, I want to keep a little piece of this experience with me always to remind me to be grateful for all that I have. So I can be reminded of good I have it. I am truly blessed.