Please God Let Me Live
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
When my children were young, I was plagued with the fear that I would leave them. I knew that if I died when they were young that they would feel abandoned. I worried that Dave would marry a woman that would hire a nanny and see them as an inconvenience. I spent countless nights lying awake begging God, bargaining with him, and imagining every worst-case scenario. I offered to die without complaining as soon as they didn’t need me anymore but as they have aged, and I have aged I keep extending the age of readiness. Let me see their weddings, let me see grandchildren, let me see retirement. I am a good person. I help so many people. They still need me. What will Dave do? And my newest and most heart wrenching please don’t let my dad watch me die.
If I allow myself, I can live in that space. Begging, bargaining, and imagining catastrophic outcomes. I’m not proud of it, but I still find myself wandering there at times. I start to notice every new freckle and every new ache. I start to look at a timeline of where I am now and how far I can go, and I am terrified by the limited number of days ahead. If I allow myself, I can stay in that space. So, I don’t. I’m not afraid to die. I’m not a fan of the dying process. None of it looks so good to me, but I know it is temporary and I know where I’m going. I am very afraid to leave the people I love behind. My heart hurts when I think about my family grieving who I was. I don’t know what God has in store for me. I don’t know from which side of heaven I will watch grandchildren play. It’s not up to me. But until then I can’t live in that space. I choose to live for my family until my last breath and I hope that you do too. If that’s a struggle for you, I get it, I fight with it too. But I have tools to help you to fight back so that if you go there, it’s a short trip and not a lifelong residence.