"what if" we are normal?

We have talked about the "what if" scenario here at SpouseBuzz, and at our SpouzeBuzz Live events.

Your Husband/Wife/Son/Daughter, prepares for war, and we prepare ourselves.

There is a will, POA, arranging guardianship for your children "just in case" something happens to both of you.

Then, your Husband/Wife/Son/Daughter leaves for war...

Every household probably handles this all a little differently. We never discussed the possibility of "death" ad naseum. We awknowledged it, and went on.

And then they are gone, the house is empty, the television news comes on.

We hear of casualties, we hear of stories of bravery.

But, in the recesses of our brains. We try and prepare ourself for the possible loss of life.

"What If"

What do I tell my children?

What will I do, if that doorbell rings, and it is them?

Will I have to call DH's family?

Where will I go?

How do I manage a military funeral?

Will I be able to function?

What will I tell these children? (AGAIN)

I do no want a different life, I like my life....and it will be gone.

If you are like me, well I kept all of this to myself, I certainly did not want people thinking I was morbid. What sort of sick person plans for the death of her husband?

Me, thats who....

And I NEVER discussed it. NEVER. In a town, where I was surrounded by civilians, no WAY. And at times the thoughts were almost paralyzing. Like the moment I heard the news that a mortar had struck my DH's camp, and casualties were being reported...

I left the house that day, all day, with 2 screaming kids. I thought if I wasn't at home, the folks in the sedan that ring the doorbell, would go away. My absence could alter events. (I know better, but left anyway)

And then I read SpouseBuzz Book Club Book While They are at War.Wow, there is a name for this "anticipatory grief"

anticipatory grief is defined as:

Definition: Anticipatory grief involves the feelings, thoughts and physicalsensations that happen when you know someone is going to die or fear thatsomeone may die. These feelings happen when a loved one is terminally ill ornearing the end of natural life. They also happen sometimes when a loved one isin danger, such as in a war or other life-threatening situation. These feelings canalso be related to the fear of another loss after the death of a loved one, even ifthe loss is not likely to happen.

You may exhibit one of the following symptoms:

turns out that anticipatory grief is common among homefront families during a wartime deployment. We're so afraid of losing the one we love that our bodies start to react as if they're already dead. The symptoms include:-- tightness in the throat or chest-- shortness of breath-- sensitivity to loud noises-- forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating-- agitation and restlessness, like an anxiety attack-- extreme hunger or lack of appetite-- crying jags-- headaches-- insomnia-- drug use or excessive drinking

Grief is nothing to be ashamed of. It's a normal human emotion, and grieving people typically move through five phases: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance and hope. Not everyone experiences all these phases, and they may not occur in that order. But any of those responses are normal, even if the one you love is alive and kicking.

Well after reading Kristins book, While They Are At War, it opened a dialogue between several milspouses I know, and I swear you could hear a collective sigh of relief.

It has a name, it is normal, I am not morbid.

I am normal....

Always good to hear.

If you are noticing any of these symptoms of anticipatory grief, that are not managable, I would encourage you to talk to your Chplain, or OneSource, ASAP!

One Source #1- 800.342.9647.

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