I was in the shower the other day, running through the never-ending loop of thoughts in my head–endlessly rapid thoughts. I’ve gotten really good at speed showers in the last two years. What used to be a refreshing way to start my day immediately turned into a high-anxiety event after Pete died–trapped in a small space with memories of our time together bashing into me, loss washing over me. Now, I can’t get out of there fast enough. A shower is pretty much an auto pilot undertaking with nowhere to go and nothing to do but think...and think and think and think. Historically, the shower was where I would add a hundred items to my To Do List for the day before realizing I had nowhere to write it down. Now the shower has become a space where I tend to have the gloomier flashbacks of Pete’s illness: hospital rooms and ambulances rides.
It’s weird, I know. I could anticipate dozens of things I’d have to deal with in grief, but high-anxiety showers was not one of them. Regardless of appearance though, this blog is not about showers. It’s about things pondered in my shower.
Someday I’ll die. I honestly never used to think about it much, but this most recent shower thought was, “Do I spend more or less time now thinking about death.” I think the answer is “more.”
I don’t actually worry about dying, it just feels so much more inevitable now than it used to. I’m 5’6”, active and healthy as far as I know, but that doesn’t stop my mind from wandering to thoughts of what might happen to me. I live by myself now. What if I fell down the stairs–how would anybody know? What if I died suddenly? How would the kids know all the finances and how to run the business should they want to continue it at all? They would find hooks full of keys and not know what any of them are for. Where are all the login passwords? Before, I always knew that if I died, there’d be no worries. Pete would take over and everything would be fine. Now, no Pete. Just me. Now, I have to create a solid strategy and put it in place. I’m such a list freak I know that it can all be done with a massive list of data, in a notebook, shared with Sean and James. But there’s so much information, and I feel like I should get all prepped now just in case tomorrow is the day–There’s the anxiety talking.
I’m really not a Gloomy Gus. I’m just practical and that practicality is now biting me in the ass on a daily basis. It looms large and it is a lot more consuming of my thoughts than I want it to be. Maybe if I just don’t procrastinate, and I get all of this put together for my kids, I’ll stop thinking about it.
Pete used to nag the kids to shorten their showers to save money on the water bill. (I think that subject is in the “Dad Manual” of things to gripe about at their kids.) He would be pleased with how I’ve lowered the bill.