Death has always scared me. It wasn’t my own death that scared me but the thought of losing people I cared about. Now that I think about it, it wasn’t just death I had issues with. I hated goodbyes.
When I was young and married to a military guy I didn’t deal well with it when he left and we didnt say goodbye. He would leave while I pretended to be asleep and kiss my cheek because he knew that I had such huge struggles with being alone.
This was such an issue with me that I had actually told my mom that when she passed away that I wouldn’t go to her funeral. I imagined myself being one huge, hysterical mass that was unable to function.
That stuff got a little better as I got older and became a nurse. When I was mid 30s one of my favorite patients died. He and I had become close and he called me his angel and said I was like part of his family and I sort of felt the same about him.
When he died I wasn’t sad and that scared me. I figured I was in denial or shock or something but it didn’t wear off. I ended up taking an entire weekend trying to sort this out. Was I out of tough with my feelings? Maybe I had never really cared about him. Was I dissociating? After a lot of self-examination I realized that I wasn’t upset because I had no regrets with that relationship. I had been a good nurse to him, I did my best, and I knewF a child that is moving out, a parent or patient that is dying, or goodbye to an ideal. Its all hard.
This election has brought up those issues a lot. First there was Bernie. Sometimes I have a hard time with hope. A person can be disappointed when they have hope… and oh my, so many of us were disappointed when we had to say goodbye to that dream. I mentally kissed him goodbye when he lost and forged on to the next thing.
Yesterday I voted for Hillary. She wasn’t my first choice but I felt like she was our best option and, to be honest, it really didn’t register to me that she might lose. That is not actually true. Months ago I saw how many people were excited about Trump and I got scared. As the months went on he was more and more ridiculous. When i compared his knowledge base to hers, watched the horrible way he treats people and recently saw all of the sexual allegations-I suppose I had no doubt that Hillary would win. And then I woke up this morning.
Sort of like when my patient died, I am surprised that I am not distraught over this. To be clear, I am not thrilled with this result. I am not happy that people have to worry about being deported or separated from family members. I am not happy that same sex couples are worried that they will no longer be able to get married. But I feel peaceful. I chose my candidate and supported him. And then I chose my next best candidate and supported her. My team didn’t win but I was true to what felt right for me.