Sunday Mornings

I read the obituaries. Coincidentally, I am also the same person who is slightly crazy and should not be reading the obituaries. I am a worrier, born and bred (thanks, Mom.) If there is anything that leaves room for over-analyzing and worrying about, I will find that thing and worry myself mad. It is a skill and let me tell you, I can worry with the best of them.

Although my worries range from big to small, there is one worry that takes the cake. The Big Kahuna of worrying for me is my fear of death. I know I am not unlike millions of people when it comes to this worry. I also know that I am in a smaller percentage of people that worry themselves sick over it. I am part of that crazy people group. You know the ones that start out by saying, "Hi, my name is Jana and I am a crazy worrier." I accept it.

This is why the obituaries are dangerous for me. I am searching for a few key things when reading them: age and cause of death. When I see an obituary for a baby or even a teenager I need to know why their life was cut short. Then I need to promptly figure out if what they died from could happen to one of my kids. I do the same thing with people my age or my husbands age and then also my parents age. Understanding why the people died somehow gets easier as the people get older. If only this was the case when older people I love died.

The obituaries are, in a sense, like a train wreck for me. You don’t want to watch but you couldn’t pull your eyes away if your life depended on it. I find myself turning to the obits on Sunday mornings knowing they will make me sad or kick my worrying up a notch. I know in my logical, smart, head that this is not how normal people behave, spending their Sunday mornings praying you only see obits for 98 year old grandpa’s that lived fabulous lives, but I do.

It is like I am a glutton for punishment, letting my mind wander to the dark places lurking inside. These places I now refer to as my “bad thoughts” so my husband knows what is happening with me. So when he asks, “What’s the matter with you?” I can just say, “I was having a bad thought" and leave it at that.  It only takes one story of a sick child or a husband losing his life to make me keep asking myself,  “What if that happened to me?” The what if’s are slowly killing me. Trapping me with worry and forcing me to want to smother my family with love, because that will surely keep them safe. Keep them alive.

I have seen friends go through losing a baby, having to bury their sweet baby girl. I have learned of a dear friend passing away, only a day after giving birth, leaving behind her newborn baby, her 2-year old son and a husband she adored. I have seen a man fight for his life with all that he had and lose a battle with cancer, leaving behind a little boy and a pregnant wife. I cannot imagine what these people have gone through and what they continue to go through to come out on the other side. The good side. So my bad thoughts drag me down to the places where I imagine what it would be like if someone told me Jason was not coming home or God forbid a part of me, one of my boys, did not make it. It would be my end. These terrifying, stomachache inducing thoughts are what, often times, consume me.

I am crazy, I know. But the worry is more than I can control. Because what if that was me without a husband, my soul mate, the one I dream of growing old with? What if it was my baby? What if, what if, what if. I am so scared that my constant bad thoughts will make my nightmare of what if’s a reality.

So, I do all I know how to do. I worry, but as I do, I pray. I pray hard and I love them with all I have. Then I read the obits on Sunday morning and start all over again.

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