I have thought about this a lot, and a lot more especially recently. Would it have been better if I would have known that this was going to happen? Would I have made our days more special? Or would I have sulked and tried to control it, keep it from happening?
Looking back, there were so many "signs" that this was going to happen. The fact that we had to come back to Campbell, and that he had to get back in to the Army. There were so many big "little" things that lead up to that. Ultimately, Matt and I talked about it, and we truly BOTH understood that something was pulling us back; that for some reason, we had to return and that we were not getting out of one more deployment, one more ADSO, one more round with the Army. We had to come back, we had no choice in the matter, ultimately. I have been looking for more signs of things to come lately. Up until the New Year, it was definitely to a fault. I found meaning in everything, to the point that it distracted me from life, I guess, and the first steps of moving forward.
Grief makes one (well, me, anyway) fear the loss or death of everyone else around me. I am looking for symptoms, for reasons that I can see, for "signs" like Matt and I had before this happened. How can I prevent this from happening again? How can I keep myself and others from enduring this pain again? I guess I liken it to a chronic illness.
I often wonder if it is better to know about a chronic illness, try to control it, and try to make it stop, or if it is better to not know, and to just live your days in ignorant bliss. dealing with symptoms as they come, and attributing them to other factors. When I think of cancer patients, for instance, do they regret learning their diagnosis, or are they happy that they know? Is it better to live with the knowledge of what will happen, or is it better to just not know? Obviously, in situations where it is preventable, curable, liveable....the choice is clear. But what about those where it is not?
Before Matt left for deployment, I did my best to make the best of our time before he left. I tried so hard not to cry, not to show him that I was sad, because that ultimately would spoil the time that we did have left together. Thank goodness he helped me through that, because the worst of it was when it really hit me that with the return to Campbell, it meant that he had to deploy. A year without him, the possibility of a lifetime without him. And that was about 6 months before he even left! He gave me the strength, after a few days of tears, to understand that if I kept crying, kept being sad, kept thinking about the inevitable, our good days, happy memories and bliss would have been lessened. It would have been "Shadowed" by sorrow. What if I had noticed the "signs" that we had leading up to this before he died? Would this have been easier or more difficult for me? What about for him? How would he have handled it? I think that he would have been brave. He would have been concerned, for me, for his family, and maybe a little for himself, but he would have been brave. I don't think I would have or could have stood the thought of losing him, and knowing that I was going to lose him like this, and thinking that somehow I could prevent it.
And what about now? Is it better to know what is coming for me or my loved ones? Is it better to know what the future holds so that I can be sure to take advantage of every opportunity that I have, or would it inflict pain, fear, and shadow every good moment with sorrow? Is it worth seeing the signs? Is it worth the fight? Is it worth knowing what lies ahead and maximizing every moment? Is it worth not ever taking a moment for granted, just so I never again have to look back and say "I wish we did this","I should have done that differently", "why didn't I make time for that"? Or would my fear overshadow these goodnesses, and not even allow them to happen?
I just think about these things a lot. Through his death, I have learned how much in life is completely out of my control. I wish he were here to help me understand.