This morning I woke up to the news channels talking about the UH-60 Black Hawk that crashed overnight from Eglin Air Force Base and the 11 presumed dead that were on board.
It’s interesting how experiences change us, mold us into something completely new. Two and a half years ago I would have read that article, thought, “That is so sad. Those poor families” and went back to the daily grind of my life. Today, reading those words sent a wave of grief to my shores. I sat in bed and I cried. I cried for the 11 people who are probably dead, for the fear they must have felt as their helicopter was going down (I often wonder if Brandon was afraid as he died). I cried for their parents, their wives, their children, their friends who will be getting the phone calls today.
Brandon’s death has made me hyper-aware of other deaths. I feel so damn sad for the significant others of these 11 presumed dead. Today is the beginning of the worst days of their lives…today IS the worst day in their life. I know the pain, the darkness, the hopelessness that will be their companion…and I wish they didn’t have to feel any of it. I wish they could wake up and today be just another day…not the day their loved one died.
You never forget that day. That day changes you, forever.
I wish no one had to go through that pain, I wish this world was less unfair.
There was a time when I had to decide if I could live again after Brandon’s death. I made a decision: I wasn’t going to let Brandon’s death make me afraid to live, make me afraid to love. I survived his death, but I didn’t want his death to kill me. It’s not what he’d want for me. So I made the decision, that if the time came and I met someone else, I would jump in with both feet, that I wouldn’t be afraid, that I wouldn’t let my tragedy keep me from living again. And then I met Will.
This helicopter crash is highlighting an anxiety I have…this is what I’m terrified of happening with Will. It’s a big reason I’m so upset and off kilter today. It’s his dream to be a pilot, and he’s on his way to achieving it. I want him to have his dream, I want him to be a pilot, I want him to be happy, to do what he loves. Yet I can’t help but be paralyzed with fear of one day waking up to a phone call that tells me he’s been in a crash, that he’s dead. It’s a fear that’s constantly there, it’s deep in my bones, a part of me. It makes me feel small and helpless.
But, after months of therapy, I know that this is normal. When you lose someone you love to death suddenly and out of the blue, it’s very normal to see death around every corner, to worry and have anxieties about the same happening to everyone you love. If you expect death all the time, it’s hard to be surprised by it, right? (Sorry, dark humor) The trick is finding a way to live with these new friends, these anxieties. Living with them is the hardest part. It’s why I started seeing a therapist again six months ago.