I Used To Be Fearless. Now I Am Faring Less.

In case you all are wondering, yes, I am still reeling from shock and grief. The ‘good’ news however, is that I have been able to find out what ‘happened’ to my friend. And, thank God, it seems she passed peacefully in her sleep. This is ‘good’ because I had been terrified Gloria had had to confront the reality of her imminent mortality; that it was literally something that stared her in the face and there was a moment or ten that she needed to reconcile with. You see the thing is we all know we are going to die; it is the one thing we can count on. But, regardless of how we feel about death and dying, having to confront it in real-time is a whole other matter. And, knowing some of what Gloria had already had to face in her short lifetime, I did not want her to have been scared. So, I am thanking God for this very small mercy.

Now, I am facing another problem, or maybe even a crisis, of my own. I am scared. Okay, terrified. Since the untimely passing of my friend, I have been confronting the parallels in our lives – social, academic and geographical – and realizing that she could have been me. The fear is almost paralyzing. Every ache means something. I am afraid to go to sleep; opting instead to try and keep watch over myself. Over my life. I am afraid for the plans I have in the future… what if I do not live to achieve or experience them? I am scared of losing those I love. Afraid to let them out of my sight. You see, that night Gloria died, I know she went about it the same as she always had, expecting to pick right back up in the morning. Except for her, morning never came. That could be me. You.

Today I said the words out loud, “I will need help with this.” I had planned on speaking with a therapist regarding my grief; but now I realize I also need to speak about my fear. Because, it is real and it is big. I am terrified of my life getting interrupted; and not some distant arbitrary time in the far-off future, but today. Tonight. Like hers did.

I am in tears again. For her. For me. You. For all that we could miss out on. I have plans. My daughter has them too. I want to see hers actualize. Shit! I have grandbabies to meet. Degrees to achieve. Love yet to give and receive. A life. My life.

Listen. Death came too close to me and I am not equipped to deal with all it means. I will get help for what I am feeling, because I know the worst thing I can do is to let my fears paralyze me to the point where I voluntarily stop living, loving, laughing, dreaming, hoping, planning, dancing, feeling, praying. So, I will seek the help I need to learn how to process this in the healthiest way possible. To learn how to smile again… and let it be true. I promised you all the truth of and from me, so this is it – my heart aches and I am now terrified to live because I could die.

Listen to me please. There are things in life that touch us and leave us. And then there are those that stay with us and alter our lives. Please, check in with yourselves often. See how you are doing. And, if you are not good or struggling, acknowledge it, then do something about it. Please. Take care of you. Embrace both your strengths and your weaknesses. Fuck that old commercial…absolutely let them see you sweat; I promise you it is okay. Ask for what you need; and keep asking until you get it. You deserve it.

I need help with this. And, I will get it. Because until I am stopped, my life is mine and God help me, there is a lot to enjoy.

To be continued…





6 responses to I Used To Be Fearless. Now I Am Faring Less.

  1. Lorraine Blackman

    Diane, I feel this fear as well. Not for me particularly, but of losing my one and only child. My biggest fear is that she passes away before me. I am strong & I have survived a lot, but losing her is the one thing I know I cannot survive. What do I do? … I pray … I pray hard. I beg God not to take her from me … I plead the blood of Jesus Christ over her life every single day. For me, I am not scared of leaving … I have said this for many years because I know there is some place even better waiting for me and I try to live a life that is somewhat worthy of this better place. My advise … pray, grieve, cry, and pray some more. Talk, write, blog … whatever gives you relief. Try to live each day & don’t delay in anything you want to do. In the end, none of us knows when out last day will be so why worry about it. If we have God in our lives, we should not live in fear.


    • Let's AdDress This... – Author

      Lorraine, I have struggled with responding to your very raw, honest and heartfelt words since the day you wrote them for one reason… I did not want to come back to this post. I was afraid to read all the emotions… but here I am, finally.

      Thank you. Thank you so very much for taking the time to read, but most especially, for being willing to expose yourself in an attempt to relate and to share. Thank you.

      I join you in prayer… for you, your daughters, all our daughters and sons. I ask God to watch over them and to keep them safe and here so they have the opportunity to actualize all they dream of and all we dream on their behalf.

      Thank you. I still struggle. Today was difficult; maybe it’s why I chose to now respond. The daily reminder of her absence follows me at school. Sigh. Okay… thank you! Thank you. Thank you. May God continue to keep us all.


      • Lorraine Blackman

        Thank you Diane! It will take some time, but I promise that you will find your “new normal” without your friend in this world.


  2. Cousin

    I work around death often. As the last people to care for others loved ones, I have a unique perspective…. which has given me a unique perspective.
    Death is not typically painful. From what I have seen, it is typically the ENDING of pain. From what I believe, it is the beginning of peace.

    “Untimely”, depends on our understanding of the universe, god, existentialism and ourselves. I have come to wonder if people die when they have completed their mission. Not the one we set for ourselves but the one we we sent here to do. Those two timelines are clearly not parallel for everyone.

    The death of my 78 year old father, my 14 year old neice and the death of my former self before breast cancer all shattered me. But I find I am being reshaped every moment into a different woman. One with more strength, resolve, humor, appreciation, determination, resolution and less fear. Hear that? Less fear. Fearless.

    I am convinced that death is actually a beautiful woman, in a flowing (Grecian) gown who comes to meet and guide all of us on our next leg of our journey through the time and space of the cosmos. She is not to be feared. My job is to leave enough of me behind before we journey together.

    Getting help is one of the things that perhaps you were intended to extract from knowing sweet Gloria. I am so proud that you will be doing so. What a Glori-ous gift to yourself. Enjoy your journey.


    • Let's AdDress This... – Author

      As always… thank you. “I have come to wonder if people die when they have completed their mission…” Indeed.



    • Lorraine Blackman

      What beautiful words … beautiful imagery! I have heard this too from people who were close to death … that death is a beautiful, peaceful experience and that there is no fear. I really hope so … for my Mom.


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