Posts tagged ‘death’
Husband (and I, but it’s really him as he’s been on the wait-list longer than I’ve known him) has a permit to raft the Grand Canyon this summer. A 16 day trip, it’s the adventure of a lifetime that will possibly only come along (for me) once in a lifetime.
But I’m not going.
I used to consider myself fearless; driving off in my jeep with a tankful of gas, a cooler of food, and a USGS survey map in search of adventure in the Colorado mountains – without telling anyone where I was going or when I’d be back – was my idea of a good time. Idly wandering around Europe by myself without an agenda or any idea where I’d sleep for the night brought not fear, but a sense of excitement. Hanging out doing research in deserted graveyards in downtown San Antonio, where there were more drug deals than funerals, gave me a thrill instead of the heebie jeebies. But now I have fear. Fear of the very big, very cold water in the Colorado River, and fear of hiking out alone partway through the trip in well over 100 degree heat. But most of all, I have fear of leaving this child with one less person in his world.
Being a parent, and more specifically being a parent to this child, makes me less likely to take risks. He has wonderful godparents who would manage beautifully his raising if both Husband and I died, but to potentially leave him parentless is not something I’m going to go out of my way to risk. My priorities have changed, and that’s actually okay with me. It probably seems boring, and I know Husband is disappointed, but I just can’t do it. I don’t really feel sad or regretful about it (well, maybe a tiny bit); it just is what it is.
For me, the bargaining stage of grief was brief, twisted, and selfish. It wasn’t “give me this and I’ll do that” kind of bargaining; it was far more convoluted in nature. I remember when he was born, C was immediately taken away and was on a ventilator 1/2 hour later. I struggled so much with recovering from my c-section that I didn’t see him again until he was almost two days old, and then I saw him only because they were airlifting him to another hospital. I remember thinking that if he died and I hadn’t held him, I would be less attached to him and therefore would feel his loss less. And somewhere, in the deep recesses of my mind, I was thinking “If don’t love him, God won’t take him away.” As if he wouldn’t attract God’s attention if he weren’t loved. What kind of vindictive God was I thinking about, exactly, and where did that image come from? I know now I was trying to shield myself from the unimagineable pain I would feel if this child died, but it’s strange to me now to see how my mind was working. It’s bizarre and difficult to admit, but it’s only now, years later, that I can recognize what I was thinking at that time.