fear and the aftermath

I think we all face little fears on a daily basis: Will that oncoming car stop or not?  Will my boss think my idea is stupid?

And then there is a different sort of fear.  The blood chilling, nauseating, night sweat-inducing fear for the life of those you love the most.  If the last five years offered me anything, it was familiarity with this fear, which might be the greatest of them all. I have spent many early morning hours wide-eyed, staring into the darkness, consumed with dread. Never a religious person, I learned how to pray; fear brought me to my knees.

My first experience with profound fear was in the context of a relationship with someone who suffered from addiction. With time and help from others, I learned to let go of my fear related this person’s safety and well-being.  I didn’t do so well with the fear of my mother dying.  At times, I did transcend the fear but more often just couldn’t quite shake it. Fear of her death haunted me right through those final hours, my near-constant companion until the end of her life.

My worrying didn’t change the outcome. All my sleepless nights couldn’t save my mother, but they did make me tired, and some of our time together less enjoyable. In the face of her relentless, insatiable cancer, my prayers and all that modern oncology has to offer were helpless. A cure wasn’t to be found.

My fears never saved anyone, but my smaller worries have diminished in comparison.  I struggled with anxiety prior to my harp performance at my friend’s wedding, and afterward could appreciate how it wasn’t such a big deal.  I am now seeking other performance opportunities with both my harp and with my career. I have been better at speaking my truth at work and at home.

In my inability to let go of fear, I learned to live with my suffering.  And now, the red thread has been cut, and I am emerging from the shroud greater courage than I have ever known.

6 thoughts on “fear and the aftermath

  1. Barbara Snow

    I’m glad you’re coming out of it stronger than ever, darling. There just has to be something good that comes from all this. Miss you. Love you.
    P.S. I bet you were awesome at the wedding!

  2. Kathy

    Hi. First I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. Cancer leaves you filled with fear and, for me, a feeling of not being able to do anything to help my mom. Pancreatic cancer took her life on November 16, 2008, and during those 349 days from diagnosis to her death I was filled with the fear of losing her. I will never forget the last night of her life. I laid in her bed, since at that point it was too uncomfortable for her to lay flat and she slept in the chair next to bed. I didn’t sleep. Fear filled me. I was scared that she was going to die. The next morning, seeing how sick she was, I feared how much longer she would live. I felt like I had no control over what was happening and I didn’t. I will never forget that last night and actually wrote a short story about that night and the day my mom died for a contest (http://peace4me521.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/silence). Writing is good. Creating a blog and writing about my feelings has helped me so much, along with connecting with people who experienced the same thing I have. I wish you the best. ~ Kathy

  3. Pingback: Beyond fear itself: a healthy relationship with fear « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

  4. Stephanie

    Your observations are wonderful, and your mother would be proud. One of the most astonishing things I noticed, looking back over my husband’s ordeal with terminal cancer, was that he made all my other fears go away (all but for the fear of losing him, and him suffering)–no more fear of flying, or highway driving, or of living the kind of adventures he always gravitated towards with our family when he was here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s