Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The Important Things In Life
I wrote this while sitting in an airport two weeks ago after two weeks of watching my uncle slowly start to die. I had just spent two weeks thinking about the reality of life and death. What it must be like to realize that everything you've spent your whole life working for, your family, your home, your career, is about to be taken away from you. I was sensitive to these things, because before going to my uncle's in Milwaulkee, I had quit my job and moved out of my house. These are the things that I had worked so hard for, and the two things in my life that I turned to for solace after my husband's death. Now I'm volunteerily losing them in an effort to move on. Where, I'm not exactly sure. I just knew that I couldn't stay there anymore.
Jan. 16th - I think that I've avoided contemplating death ever since the loss of my husband. I always try to avoid funerals. Their sorrow is too overwhelming for me. When I have to go, I tune them out as much as possible. Oh I know that it's appropriate to cry at funerals. I also know that I can tune them out so completely that I won't cry, so I'll let a few of the preachers words leak through my wall. The tears always start to flood uncontrolably. I have to push them back down, think of something else, to keep from making a scene or drawing attention to myself. I hate for people to see me cry, and these tears aren't for the deceased. They are for my own pain, and for the loss of my husband.
Now I'm sitting in an airport fighting my tears. The words blur as I write. I know that I'm supposed to come away from these last two weeks with something that will help me move on. I can feel it. I was here for a reason, though I'm not sure what it is, yet. I'm too emotional over the fact that I will never see my uncle again.
Later... After thinking about something my aunt said to me, I wonder if what I'm supposed to get out of all this is the fact that what I've been working so hard for, I have already achieved. I thought I needed to be more independent, so that I wouldn't ever be left so alone again. My aunt sees me as independent, because I've been alone for so many years. I felt like I needed to be more independent financially and emotionally, and not have to rely on a husband to make me feel good or support me. I buried myself in my work and my house, clinging to the guilt of becoming too dependent on my husband which created stress for him, but these are the things I need to let go of to find what is really important. I need to find myself, and let go of my idea of independence.
Nobody can be completely independent. We all need each other. My aunt and uncle needed me these last two weeks, and I needed my family to help me be there for them. I'm good at helping others. That's why I did so well at my job. I'm a people person, and I need companionship. I am independent enough to know what I don't need in a relationship. My fear of dependence has taught me that. Now I need to find balance, so I can become what I need to be. I can't be so afraid of dependence that I spend the rest of my life alone. I know if I ever remarry, I will probably, eventually end out alone again. I've survived this time, and I'll survive again.
I watch my aunt as she's losing her husband. I know what lies ahead for her. Now it's my turn to help her in the same way others have helped me. These are the more important things in life, and I'll need help to do them. I can't do them on my own.