It”s funny, what you think about and don’t think about when you are faced with unexpected situations. Life flashes before your eyes and you realise all the things you have done, should have done and wish you hadn’t done. Afterwards when things are calmer, you try to get some perspective.
I haven’t really had a personal “life flashes before your eyes” moment, myself. I remember after my first baby was born, being wheeled in for emergency surgery, at 1am in the morning, and not really being aware that things were fairly urgent at that point, but being so out of it, I didn’t really realise until afterwards. The husband just remembers me being taken away and not knowing when or if I would be back. He gets very emotional about that, still.
But when everything you hold dear suddenly seems incredibly fragile, and you fear you might loose it, even if it’s just for a few hours before relief comes, there is a level of “ok, this is happening” and perpsective you try to grasp. Suddenly, you feel like an adult, with a fair bit of the world weighing down on you, and you realise that there are things you may or may not need to face.
We have come out of the experience of the husband being ill and admitted to hospital with a slightly different view on life.
We realised that neither of us has written a will. We have a vague plan for what would happen to the children if both of us died, but we have never put that into concrete and fixed words that could be carried out. We need to rectify this. We have put it off for ages, naively thinking that it would be soemthing we would sort out when “we had time”. It is on my to do list now to get done before the end of this month.
We have life insurance policies for both of us, but I don’t know where the details of those are. I probably could spend time digging and hassling varoius avenues for them, but I would rather not. They need to be accessible and easy to get to and activate. The thought of one of us dying makes me feel sick and shaky, but reality and life have reminded us of our fragility and practical matters need to be handled.
We are both worn out and tired. The end of last year, was, frankly awful. We dealt with a very complicated and difficult set of circumstances during the autumn and winter last year that hammered us both emotionally, me more than him. We breathed a sigh of relief when it all was over, but it had taken it’s toll. Me back in therapy, and him holding things together whilst I pulled myself together, literally.
Then to face a sudden and unexpected illness, and we both now realise we are, frankly, and crudely, knackered.
Sleep deprivation, stressful jobs, a child who has needed parenting differently, mental health, physical health, other people’s problems smashing into our lives, they all add up and we haven’t been good at looking after us, in the merry go round of it all.
We are looking at how we do life. What WE want to do with life. Where we want to be, our goals, our family’s needs. We don’t own a home here in the UK, and at this point we don’t think we will. Our desire to live a life somewhere warmer and with a different perspective is coming to the forefront again, but needs to be balanced by the educational needs of our children.
When your perspective on life is challenged, through circumstances, you realise what is truly important. Other people’s wants and expectations suddenly seem very trite and unimportant. You realise that those you love and who love you are who you need around you, but you also realise that there is only one life to live and if you aren’t doing it in a way that works for you then you need to re evaluate and rethink. We have a lot of reevaluting and rethinking to do over the next few months as he recovers and we look at life and what works for us and what doesn’t. Maybe it will be dramatic or maybe it will be more subtle. We don’t know yet. I don’t do dramatic, but I do know I am seeing things with fresh eyes and for the first time I feel like a proper adult, as weird as that sounds.
For me personally:
I realise how much the other half of me, part of my life for almost 21 years, means to me. The thought of loosing him, breaks me. For a couple of hours two weeks ago, I held a deep fear in my heart. It has left me realising how much I take for granted and regretting a lot but determined to do better.
Life flashes before your eyes, when you least expect it. Now we face what we have learned, and what life will continue to bring.