Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Clouds In My Silver Lining

The following post is a little dark so I apoligize for that. I kept going back and forth on whether I really wanted to post this but for some reason I really just want to get it out... Maybe this post is a sign that I need to get drunk, a shrink, or a religion.

I have a morbid obsession with death. Maybe it's not so much an obsession but a constant awareness of my transience. You know the cliche about young people- that they think they will live forever? Not me. The fact that I will one day be gone consumes me on a daily basis. I know this can't be healthy but I also wonder if I'm the only one?

The better my life gets and the happier I am in this world, the worse this awareness is. My good moments and happy experiences are often clouded by the realization that I will lose all these things one day, even the memory of them. Sometimes it's even hard not to view my life as a count down of the years I have left.

I think this awareness became more acute since Jacob was born. I love him so much and I can't imagine not being with him. The same goes for my husband. These two people give me so much joy and fill my days with so much love. The fact that one day I will lose them is just unbearable. So I guess the downside to being so happy and finding life so precious is that you just have more to give up in the end. Seriously, how morbid is that?!

When I think about giving birth to Jacob, I am often torn between the awe I feel over bringing a precious new life into the world and guilt that the life I helped create will one day have to leave this world behind too.

Up until I graduated from college, I was quite religious. Then, I was content to live my life believing that I would end up in the happy heavenly afterlife I learned about at Sunday School. But somewhere in the past couple years, I lost my ability to believe in what I cannot see or touch or understand. Now I require science and logic and I have a hard time believeing that there is anything more than what I can physically see and touch. I hate that my innocence and blind faith is gone. I would be greatly consoled by faith in the divine and in knowing there is a pleasant afterlife waiting for me.

I try to talk about these fears with my husband but he just looks at me like I'm crazy. Instead of talking about this, he tries to distract me or take my mind off the issue. But it's never too far from my mind. At night I lay in bed feeling the warmth of the man beside me and listening to the calm breathing of the baby across the room and I just tear up thinking of the day I will be forced to leave them behind.


Anonymous said...

i have experienced exactly the same feelings since having a baby. i wonder if it is something hormonal, and will settle down once i stop nursing and my hormones go back under control? anyway, just wanted to let you know you are not alone.

LEO said...

I think about this stuff sometimes too... most of us know people that have died untimely deaths or who left behind families who really needed them, so I don't think it's that weird to have those thoughts occasionally when you really love your life and your family. When the thoughts start consuming you and you can't enjoy your daily life, I think it might be good to talk to someone about it because no one should have to deal with that amount of anxiety over something so distant and uncontrollable.
I also know what you mean about the comfort religion can (and sometimes doesn't) provide... at least for me, but I would guess for a lot of people in our generation, our faith goes through waves of strength and weakness... sometimes I wholeheartedly believe in what my religion preaches, and other times I question almost everything. It's a part of finding out who we really are, and personally I think it shows maturity to be able to admit when you have questions and doubts :)

FSD said...

I occasionally have the same concerns, but I have found that they've increased during my pregnancy. My fear is losing someone, particularly my husband, rather than them losing me. Perhaps that's selfish??? I can't imagine living my life w/o my husband. In fact, while on vacation in Sept., we were in our hotel room watching The Titanic. When the movie ended I had a complete breakdown! Now I've seen the movie a gazillion times, but on this particular day it broke my heart to know that "Rose" had to live the rest of her life without her beloved "Jack". I was crying like a baby. Trevor didn't know what to do or say. Finally, in the midst of my sobs, I expressed to him that I never want to live my life without him and then started crying even harder. It's kinda funny when I reflect back on that moment (LOL), but I truly meant that and still do.

I'm sorry to hear that the faith you once had has diminished. As a person of deep faith, I truly pray that you get that back.

Try not to dwell on the things you can't control. Commit to living every moment in the "now" and relish in it. I agree with Leo...if these thoughts are too consuming, perhaps you should talk to someone.


Allison said...

You basically described how I feel. I think daily that I am way too plagued by the knowledge that I will die someday. I also think it happened when I was in college and lost my religious faith. It wasn't on purpose - it just stopped being believable. And thus went the security of the afterlife. You are not alone - but until now I thought I was alone in feeling this way!
(Unfortunately there is no happy advice at the end of this comment ... I just feel the exact same way.)

Portia said...

I have felt this way so many times. You're not alone in that!! Honestly I'm with FSD in my hope that you regain that faith, because it's been a huge source of comfort for me (when I let it be...). That said, again, I still have these morbid thoughts. One huge fear I have is that someone will push me onto the subway tracks and I won't be able to get out and then I'll get hit by a train. Silly, yes, but scary still. (Especially because I ride the subway twice a day!)