For those who have experienced the shadow of death in their lives, C. S. Lewis' quote rings painfully true: "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."
While there are a number of emotions that rock you daily - anger, sadness, frustration, pain - it is actually fear that becomes the most difficult to deal with since it is at the heart of almost all the others. It consumes and takes over any ability to make rational decisions or view the world with an untainted eye.
My fear tells me to not get back in my car. Someone could fall asleep at the wheel and I won't see them until it is too late.
My fear tells me not to get out of bed. There is no point in going on.
My fear tells me to double and triple check the locks on the doors and windows. I no longer have a protector.
My fear tells me to hold my tongue. Others might not care about my struggles.
My fear tells me to hide from everyone. Their expectations are too high for me to meet.
My fear tells me I will always be alone. Nobody could possibly love me the way Craig did.
My fear tells me I am defeated. That in the one moment that mattered, I was not there and can never make this right again.
I fight my fear daily. Minute by minute, hour by hour. It never eases, it never goes away.
It makes me fake my smiles, shoulder-check three times before changing lanes, and spend too much time alone.
But then when I am not looking a friend offers a hug and a listening ear, I manage the drive home safely, and I find myself laughing at an unexpected joke. And in these moments my fear becomes so small, I can lock it away.
Even if only for a moment.