Busted has a post up about anxiety. We talk a lot about the pain of grief, about the cost, the emotion, and the sensation of loss. Those aspects of it are all easy to understand. They have a clear source. Just about everyone can comprehend those emotions (even if some people have a hard time realizing how long we continue to feel them). But I think the anxiety surprises everyone. I know it caught me unprepared and when I try to explain it to people outside of a select few, they get this look on their face like they think maybe I’ve slipped a gear or two.
I didn’t notice it until we went back to work outside of the house. From the day I went into the hospital until seven days after Zoë died, I hadn’t been alone for more than an hour or two. Shannon worked from home, I couldn’t drive. But then, Shannon went back to work in the office and I stayed home for one more week. He walked out the door that first morning to start his 35 mile drive to work and I felt my heart leap up into my throat. It seemed like someone was squeezing my chest so I couldn’t breathe. Suddenly I could imagine a hundred different scenarios that could happen and, as you can probably guess, none of them included his stopping at the coffee place, driving uneventfully to work while listening to NPR, and arriving safe and sound, which is how his drive usually goes.
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Allison is the contributing editor for Neonatal Death. She writes daily at Our Own Creation where she chronicles not only the life and death of her twins, Lennox and Zoe, but her world beyond.