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Connect the Dots-A Fear Based Game

I’m wondering if anyone else goes through life trying to connect the dots? If anyone else out there looks at the weeks or months leading up to their person’s death and tries to see a pattern or warnings that they might have missed the first time in an attempt to keep it from happening again? Then again-maybe it’s just my special brand of crazy talking here. My deep desire for some sort of logic or understanding or feeble idea of control around the uncontrollable.  Either way, this week I find myself in a rather freaked out position as many things are eerily similar to the year that John died.


I just recently moved into a new work position that is very similar to the position I held and was new in for only a few weeks before John died. As a matter of fact, not only is the position similar, my current cubical is right next to the cube I had when John died. The other similarity is that I obtained this position in late summer, it is early summer now but it is still a very similar time frame.


Then here is the fact that it’s that time of year for me when I get all my check-ups, such as yearly womanly dr. appointments and general physicals as well. So I’m just now finishing those things up and it feels very similar to that same time frame.


The biggest of most eerie similarity is that two people somewhat close to those I love have died in the last week and two of my friends have had big baby news this week- that is the exact same as it was in 2012 when John died. Two somewhat removed deaths and two closer to me friend’s baby news, actually it’s the same friends with numbers three and four baby news now. So, weird, so nerve racking.


Looking at that all it freaks me out. I remember thinking in 2012, these things come in threes  after the two deaths, who’s going to lose someone next? And only a very short time later I received the call that John had died.



So I am emotionally gasping right now for air, frantic at the similarities and desperately trying to talk myself down and away from believing that all of that means it is all the same now and that someone close to me or that I myself will die soon. Does this make sense to anyone else? Maybe not to an outsider, but for me, I am still trying to connect the dots around a part of my life that still makes me shake my head and think seriously? That really happened? And all I can answer back to myself is, ‘it really happened. What the hell?!’


So here I am. Late at night grappling with the circle and the dots and the lines and hoping that the picture made isn’t imminent disaster. I watched a show tonight and the couple bought their “forever” house. They waxed on and on about how their children would grow up there, that prom pictures would happen on the stairs and wedding photos would someday be taken there and instead of being happy for them I said out loud to nobody but my dog, “life must not have beat you down very hard yet”


I said and thought that not because I’m mean, but because my reality is nothing close to that, and honestly never really has been. But before John died, I did believe I might have a chance at that happy ever after- no matter how slim a chance- I at least thought there was a chance for the long, happy life with someone I loved.


But I never think those things anymore, that there could be a happy ever after. I never think that for years and years I could plan on being in one place or with all of those I love safely next to me, content and all okay. All of those illusions were torn away when John died. Knowing keenly just how fragile we all are can be a harsh place to live and not one many would choose over the happy ever after scenario.


That’s the reality I live in, scared, fearful of it all being ripped away again from me or from those I love.  And it’s a hard place to be. When I tell people about this they say, “just don’t think that way”, but how can I not when it’s a reality I’ve lived through, a reality that in many ways I’m still trying to absorb.



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Comment by eddiesgirl on June 28, 2015 at 9:58pm

We have all lived through the worst possible scenario, so we know how bad things can get and how quickly life can change. I relive every moment, go over what ifs, try to think of clues I missed and it's exhausting. It is hard to find calm in the storm. 

I think the key is we already lived through the worst. We are stronger than before even though we don't feel strong. We can make it!

Comment by CandJ02 on June 28, 2015 at 6:22pm

I play this game too and I'm not even a year out yet. I constantly wonder what I missed and how I could not see the signs as my fiance did what both bis4betsy's and k2k9's husbands did. I even remember saying to my fiance at one point, "you don't seem right, you aren't going to die on me, are you?" I was kidding of course, thinking he just had a stomach bug. And he laughed and said, "are you kidding, we are getting old together." But now I wonder if he knew how sick he was and just didn't want to deal with it.

As for the other things in my life, I've also had similar experiences with baby news and other big life news around the same time. I feel a little paranoid and a little crazy worrying about "what's next," but I also think we all suffer from our own special brand of PTSD that makes not playing the connect the dots game impossible. We have to play because we know that life does, in fact, throw the worst at you when you least expect it. The attitude of "that really only happens to other people, but would never happen to me" is a fantasy for us. It's like you said, you have to think that way because you know how hard life can be. 

I hope that there aren't any connected dots for you and that your anxiety eases a bit. Hang in there! :) 

Comment by bis4betsy on June 27, 2015 at 8:17am

Guilty of the game too.  I hate when people ask me about his cancer.  I think he was like k2k9's husband- he knew something wasn't right but he only gave them enough information to make them look here or there. Once I got invited to the doctor's appointments the game changed and he couldn't hide anymore. I think about his behaviors the 6-9 months prior to the diagnosis and wonder if maybe it had something to do with it.  I'll never know and it doesn't change the outcome.  

Life is different for you now, you're more aware of what you may have innocently overlooked before.  Try not to let those details take you backwards, keep walking with those tiny steps forward to your new future.  

Comment by k2k9 on June 27, 2015 at 4:35am

Yes, I do the connect-the-dots thing about the year or so before his death.  I bet a lot of people do that.  In my case, my LH had cancer that was somehow overlooked by a dozen doctors, including during two hospital stays.  By the time they diagnosed the cancer, there was nothing that could be done.  He died a few weeks later.  I keep re-hashing everything, trying to figure out what we did wrong that made them not see or even suspect cancer.  I now know that it was HIM.... I think he "knew" he had cancer, and didn't want to be a burden, so he would make the doctors "look at that" or "look over there -- don't look here, look over there!" to divert their attention.  I always told him he should have been a lawyer because he could talk circles around anybody, and outmaneuver people with intellect.  So, I think that's what happened, and we didn't do anything wrong, he had his mind made up that he was not going to treat his cancer, and he lived the last of his days smiling and keeping his little secret.  

I've been through a lot of "deaths in twos" as well.  In 2009, it was my mom and my brother; in 2011, my childhood friend and my beloved dog; in 2012 my husband's two best friends (within two months of each other); and in 2015 my husband died in March, and my dog a month later in April.  I am reeling at all these losses.  Everything has been ripped away.  To add insult, someone broke into my house and stole everything, including all the jewelry he had given me over the years (which wasn't much, and wasn't worth ANY money!!).  I literally have nothing left of my old life!!!  It is bizarre and surreal.  

Thank goodness for my pets, because otherwise I'd go crazy.  They keep me centered and give me a purpose.

Hugs to you.

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