Not Ready for the Fade

Why am I so anxious? Just looking around the house, I see so many things that need to be done. My energy is gone. I can’t seem to get motivated to do anything. I have been able to walk, which has been good, but tasks at home are suffering. My anxiety rises as I think about the work to do. Specifically, moving all of Jana’s stuff into bins or out of the room.

We just moved before Jana went into the hospital, so we still have boxes of kitchen items sitting in the kitchen. I can’t bring myself to sort that either. So many things that she had or bought. Of course, much of it we have not used over the years, but the fact that she got it makes me want to keep it forever. I am not getting rid of anything at this point. But, even the thought of putting stuff where it needs to go creates anxiousness which is felt in the pit of my stomach.

My phone was set to keep the last 30 days of texts and delete any older ones. This thought occurred to me yesterday so I checked my texts from Jana. The only ones left were from the day before she died. In the last one she sent me she told me that her stomach hurt and she was calling her nurse about it. This was the pain that did not end until the next morning when it, and the underlying complications, took her life.

What causes the anxiety? I see her face on my phone, her picture is my background, and I get a pang of anxious feelings. Do I feel like she is “slipping away” from me? If I put the stuff into boxes, clear out the room, lose communications, and continue life…do I feel like she is somehow fading away? This can’t happen! I must HOLD ON! I can’t let her go, in any way. Maybe…I am being forced to realize things must move on. They must change. Please, don’t let time pass. I want to stay in the world pre–August 7th… Life was so much better then.

Wow. Yes, here is my source of anxiety. It’s the fact that life is still happening without her. It’s my betrayal. The other day I had a moment in which I realized that I was enjoying some time with the kids. Immediately, I felt guilty. I knew this may happen, but was surprised at my guilt.

The first movie we watched at the theater together was Titanic. We loved to re-enact the scene where Jack sinks at the end whenever we had a raft in a pool. In that scene, Jack sinks down and slowly fades into the deep. Slowly fades. I am fearful and anxious about Jana “slowly fading” in my mind. I am trying to hold on, but it’s like grasping at fog, trying to cling to it and draw it nearer. I’m not ready to let go.

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring-what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes.

James 4:14

Author: kcradioman

I am the Director of Twin Oaks Family Care in Excelsior Springs, Mo. I hold a Master of Arts in counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and, currently, am working on the Doctor of Ministry in Care and Counseling at MBTS. My wife and I were married in 1998 and we had 2 daughters. On July 26th, 2019, my lovely wife, Jana, was diagnosed with Leukemia and began treatment. On Aug 7th, 2019, she died of complications from the chemo treatment. God prepared us and sustains us. My way of grieving includes being open and transparent about my feelings. My hope is to provide a voice of support for others experiencing grief.

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