|Seth and I at Tulum in Mexico, 2007.|
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Last weekend I flew to Lake Tahoe to photograph a wedding.
I have had a long time extreme fear of flying. During the weeks leading up to the flight, I was anxious about the flight.
The trip came and went, and I found myself flying back home. As I was flying home, I realized that I was not afraid of the flight. I realized that during the flight to Tahoe, I was not anxious at all.. and I wasn't anxious that I was trapped in a plane, a billion miles above the earth.
The realization that I had no anxiety over the two flights caught me by surprise and made me ponder.
Where did my fear of flying go? When did it go? How is it possible that an extreme fear that I have had for years and years, is suddenly gone?
I started thinking about when my fear of flight started. I remember when it started.
Early in my relationship with Seth, we both started having a reoccurring nightmare. The nightmare was always so real and always the same. Seth and I would be flying to somewhere tropical. For some reason, the plane suddenly crashes into the ocean, and we were left in the middle of the ocean with just one flotation device (the seat) to share. The other passengers were always fighting, trying to take other peoples flotation devices, and there was always the same man.. this man would try to drown me and try to take my flotation device. Leaving out the gory details, Seth would kill this man in a very violent, but necessary way.. it was this man’s life or mine. We would take the flotation device, and start swimming away from the plane and fighting passengers. Leaving us alone in the ocean.
The dream would always end with us swimming and swimming and swimming, then waking up in a pure panic.
Seth and I shared this reoccurring nightmare. The details were always the same. The only difference was there was my perception of the dream and Seth’s perception of the dream.
We shared the same nightmare through our entire relationship. Every couple of months, one of us would have the nightmare.
I thought it was ironic that two people could share the same nightmare. I eventually thought.. what if this is our destiny? What if this is the way we would die?
Every year Seth and I would vacation in Mexico. Every time I boarded the plane, I would think of the nightmare. The ocean, the tropical place, the plane crash.. my extreme fear of flying etched it's self into my soul.
I have been thinking about some of the stories my widow friends have told me.. it involved my widowed friend having a recurring nightmare of finding their husband deceased in a certain way. Then in real life, when their husband passed away, it happened the same way they had dreamed about for years. I have several widow friends that have had this experience.
I have been thinking about my fear of flying and the reoccurring nightmare.
I realized I haven’t had that nightmare since Seth died. In 33 months or 1,020 days, I haven’t had the nightmare that chased me for 10 years.
The dream and fear of flying died with my husband.
Since my flight, I have been wondering if this was mine and Seth’s destiny. What if he altered destiny with his suicide?
Where does that leave me? Alone in the ocean? Fighting the man in my nightmare alone?
Maybe that’s why my fear of flying and nightmares have stopped. Maybe that is no longer my destiny.
Maybe my husband’s suicide changed far more than just my present. Maybe it changed my destiny.
I may never know the answer to my destiny, but it does make me wonder.
Now if I die in a plane crash, you will be left with things that make you go “hmm..”