I read some awful news on Facebook yesterday.
A blogger friend's wife passed away. I knew she had been diagnosed with breast cancer some time back, but I had apparently not kept up with how she was doing...
But that's not my point. It floored me, of course because of the loss, but also because fuck yeah, that does happen. People do lose their best friend and significant other. All the time, in fact.
And there is a very real possibility that it will happen to me.
I know loss of a loved one can happen to anyone at any time. Another dear blogging friend worries every day her husband walks out the door to his job as a police officer.
Shit happens. I get that.
You have to admit, though, that you don't think about it every day if you have a healthy spouse. There's really no reason to, and if you do, you might have an anxiety disorder (I'm guessing).
Because my husband is chronically ill with several conditions, and he has had to be resuscitated a handful of times, I do think about losing him DAILY.
I figure his greatest threats are sepsis or heart failure. Lately, I've even thought about the idea of an inability to dialyze, which would also lead to death.
So when I read about Jim's wife's passing, it was a punch to my gut.
First I felt, really FELT, for him. The well of compassion in my heart spilled out. I have seen a man lose his beloved wife before when my friend (who also had breast cancer) died. Then a wave of panic washed over me about my own spouse.
And then. Then I was thankful. My heart well was filled back up with gratitude that my husband is still alive, still here.
He is a husband and he is a father. He is a son and a friend.
Even though there is stress, worry, sadness (anticipatory grief) and inconvenience -- and my life feels completely unbalanced right now -- related to Mark's illnesses, we are lucky to still have him here with us.
The lesson here is on perspective. I was casually scrolling through my Facebook feed on my phone. I could have easily missed the news of Leslie's passing, to go on about my complicated day feeling all sorts of negative things. But I paid attention. I saw it. And I absorbed it.
I let the feelings this reality caused to wash over me.
I might have ended up feeling more stress and anxiety about the idea of losing my husband one day. I could have felt bitterness about that. Instead, I landed on my foundation of gratitude.
I am still lucky to have my husband in my life.
This post was partially inspired by the One Word Blog Challenge word "lucky".
Also linking up with Pour Your Heart Out.