I had the honor to spend the summer taking care of my Mom during the last stages of her battle with cancer. It was during this time that I realized I did the same thing with her death as I do with Hubby's deployments. I plan and know how I am going to handle things when the time comes, or I get a knock at the door. Anticipatory Grief has seeped into more areas of my life than I ever thought possible.
What I had thought would happen when the time came for my Mom's decline was partly true. It was tough, but more manageable than I thought. At the same time, I was dealing with the Hubby being deployed and waiting for the knock at the door. And waiting for the turn in the road with my Mom. For two of the most important people in my life, I was imaging what I would be thinking and doing if something happened to both of them at the same time.
It was a rough six to eight weeks. Hubby was there as much as he could be via internet and phone. Friends stepped in and our church family took as much as the load off me as I would allow. Yet no one could stop my mind from seeing myself burying both my Mom and Hubby at the same time. It did not happen, but the thought was always in the back of my mind that it would. It actually took me a minute to realize that it was anticipatory grief I was dealing with, for both Mom and Hubby. The only difference is we knew what the outcome would be with my Mom.
With Hubby I never know, but always plan. Let me tell you, having things planned out and ready to go is the best thing if anything happens. It also made me realize that we all need to be prepared for the worst case scenario, not just for our spouses, but ourselves too. We all need to have a will and written instructions for what our last wishes are. It makes it easier on those left behind. Hubby has done this, and now it is my turn. It has been made abundantly clear that I need to do this, not just for my own peace of mind but for the peace of mind of my loved ones.