Monday, September 24, 2018

Obituary Anxiety

I have obituary anxiety.  Yes, I realize that how bizarre that sounds, but it's true. 

I'm not anxious about dying. Obviously, if I were to keel over tomorrow, I'd be worried about my children and devastated that I wouldn't be there to watch them grow into the people they are becoming. I'd be sad that my parents were losing a child, because that's a pain that I can't even let myself think about.  But I'm not afraid of dying.  Not at all.

I'm afraid of that five paragraph blurb that will run in the local paper or on some funeral home website.  I'm afraid of my family struggling to FILL those paragraphs. 

I've gotten married and had a couple of kids, so (whew!) that part is taken care of.  God willing, there will be some people to list in my "survived by" section.  But what are they going to put in the biography section?

I guess they could list some of my educational background, but are they really going to make it a rehashing of my resume?  "She worked for five years here, two years here, she really enjoyed this job - but she left it after one year to move to a different state with her husband..."  Blah, blah, blah.

I'm not currently involved with any civic organizations, I'm not attending a church regularly, I'm not volunteering in my community... what the heck is going in that paragraph?  She never turned down a slice of cake?  She enjoyed singing loudly in the car? She couldn't cook to save her life, but she successfully washed/dried/folded 10,452 loads of laundry in her lifetime? 

I think my anxiety isn't *really* about the future obituary, it's about feeling like I haven't accomplished much with my 35 years.  It's about not feeling successful on a day-to-day basis. 

I haven't been able to adjust my definition of success to match the "stay-at-home parent" season of life that I am currently in, and it's a problem.  It's a problem that's entirely in my head, and I'm working on it. 

Here's hoping sharing my thoughts with friends/acquaintances/and even strangers on the internet will help. 

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