Given the events of this harrowing time in our world’s history, I find myself researching how to write my will. It’s not a doomsday reaction for me as much as what feels like a logical thought. As they say, any moment could be our last, which is why we’re advised to live each to its fullest.
At this moment, I am in the hardest hit area of America. My governor has advised us we are approaching the apex, which could come in 14-21 days. Just typing that tripped my heart like when a panic attack is about to begin.
I’ve had a lot of those lately. The not-so-subtle crushing of my chest and my gut, where it feels like all the air has been sucked out of the room. My heart gallops, my body trembles, my legs go weak. I know what it is. Fear of the unknown. Imaginings of the worst kind.
That’s when I’m reminded I did not write my will and I, again, wish I had because then, at least, my wishes would officially be known.
I’m healthy. I am among the fortunate ones who has worked from home and has had little chance of exposure to this deadly virus. I take my part of the preventative measures seriously – to stay-at-home, practice social distancing, wash my hands, not touch my face, clean and disinfect commonly-used surfaces like light switches, door nobs, phones, computers, faucets and the like. I call family members daily, I stay in touch with friends. As extravagantly as I can, I tip the brave, dedicated people who continue to deliver much needed food and other supplies.
And I cry.
Out of fear for what will come, and out of grief for what already has.
Dreams put in perspective
This was going to be my year. I was finally going to release my first book. A romantic suspense novel I hoped people would curl up with, frantically turning the pages, then sighing at the end. I had promo planned, I dedicated hours to a book trailer, I fell in love with the cover and feverishly worked to make my print and ebook files as perfect as they could be.
I look back now and shake my head because while I had always dreamed of publishing a book, I realize what matters more. The people in my life, the love of family and the bond we forge with friends and neighbors.
When this nightmare finally ends, we will have so many pieces to pick up, so many hearts to help reassemble, so many tears to help dry. And so many hugs to give. If this has taught us anything I hope it is that we can do all of the above together, for each other, without litmus tests for who is deserving, and without resentment if some need or get more than others. Because, as this virus has shown us, we are all in this together. Every one of us.
E pluribus unum.
Of many one.
That is how it should be. I should include those thoughts when I write my will.
NY State Mental Health Line: 1-844-863-9314
National Suicide Hotline: – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)