Living in Constant Fear

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I developed many fears after losing my parents, and one of the fears that stood out from the rest since day one was the fear of losing another person/people. I know that at some point we all die, yet not a day goes by that I’m not scared. Today I’d like to talk about this just a little, explain how it feels and what I try to do to at least make it all a bit bearable. I hope this helps you. Enjoy!

Prior to mom and dad passing away, I had experienced loss: my sister and all four grandparents. My sister died when I was just a few months old, so I do not remember how losing her felt back then. I do not remember losing my grandparents either. I was way too young (my paternal grandfather actually died many years before I was born). I was ten when mom and dad died. They were the two most important people in my life. That loss shook me. That loss stuck with me. That loss changed me forever.

There are no exact words that can explain how losing my mom and dad felt. I cannot compare it to anything else I’ve ever known. Pain, trauma, sadness, regret… all of these are only a tiny fraction of the equation. The intensity of what I felt and what I still feel ‘til this day makes me tremble at the idea that someday I’ll have to go through something similar again. Will it feel the same? No, every loss is different. Will it hurt? Without a doubt. Will my heart survive? I’d like to believe it will, but I don’t know.

Sometimes I wish I never loved again after mom and dad died. Loving means that the pain of grief is inevitable. Loving means that the fear of loss is inevitable. Perhaps this is one of the greatest mysteries of life. To love is to grieve and to grieve is to love. Although we know that our love transcends the boundaries of physical life, our minds yearn for the ones we will never be able to physically touch again; so our hearts bleed indefinitely as the love of our deceased loved ones continues to burn within us.

For me, coping with this feeling of fear has many layers to it. Firstly, there’s the religious aspect. Religion tries to make sense of death, and I am a believer. However, I find that on some days my mind refuses to believe what my heart desperately tries to cling to. Secondly, there’s the spiritual aspect (which I’ve purposely separated from religion). As I grow in my grief journey, my spiritual awareness grows too. I feel connected to my parents, to their parents and to those who came before them. I feel it in my bones, in the soles of my feet, in my spirit. However, on some days my mind finds this challenging and my heart is in too much pain to care. Lastly, there’s the aspect of experience. I know how it felt and how it feels to lose someone you love, and I also know that happiness and peace are possible. However, by experience I also know that happiness and peace do not replace pain; they coexist.

So basically I cope with this fear with the hope of religion, the connexion of spirituality and the knowledge of experience.

I will probably forever live in constant fear because I will never stop loving my loved ones. I guess that’s the sacrifice my heart made the moment it began to love; the moment it came into existence. It is an existence that I do not understand, but one I very much feel. Since I feel love, I feel grief; and since I feel grief, I feel fear. Perhaps fear isn’t the right word…