I often wonder if the average person thinks about death as often as I do.
If someone doesn’t answer the phone or respond to a text right away, I think they must have died.
If one of my dogs starts coughing or making a weird noise, I think they must be dying.
I am well-aware that there are many reasons besides death why someone might not respond to a text right away or why one of my dogs is coughing. I remind myself of this when I am convinced otherwise.
I remind myself how unlikely it is that someone has died, especially since the thought has already crossed my mind. Doesn’t that stuff usually happen to someone who doesn’t think it will happen to them? Someone who doesn’t even have death on their radar?
I always think it could happen to me.
Death is always on my radar.
Maybe part of me thinks it will never happen to me if I am constantly thinking it will happen to me.
Or maybe I feel like I will be more prepared for someone’s death if I have already considered the possibility.
I save all my texts, calls, voicemails, photos, and notes because I’m afraid someone is going to die and I’ll regret deleting them or throwing them away.
I save everything because on some level it makes me feel like I will be more prepared when someone dies.
Realistically, I knew my mom was dying when my mom was dying, but I still never expected it to happen. I never expected my dad to call me with the news that morning while I was sitting on the couch having coffee in our new house.
I was still shocked.
I was still caught off guard.
I was still unprepared.
No matter how many times I thought about my mom dying.
No matter how many times I told myself that today was the day.
No matter how many times I convinced myself that was the reason my dad didn’t answer his phone.
And no matter how many notes and cards and photos I had saved.
Nothing, none of it, prepared me.
But I still have these ongoing thoughts and concerns about the people I love dying.
Maybe I am just scared of losing more when I have already lost so much. My heart cannot bear another loss.
Maybe it’s a combination of being scared, trying to prepare myself, and thinking it won’t happen to me as long as I’m thinking it will happen to me.
Or maybe I’m just nuts.
I suppose that’s always possible, too.
Weird things happen to you when someone you love dies.
Weird things happen when you lose such a big piece of your heart.
You are forever changed.
You are never the same.
But you will never take another single person for granted ever again.