Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's Ok To Be Morbid

Being married to a member of the military presents all sorts of challenges. The moving, the separations, and the demands of the army can all be stressful. One of the factors to which I am starting to get accustom is the chance of something bad happening to my soldier. Before deployment you talk about wills, power of attorney and funeral arrangements. That was bad enough and I had to take multiple breaks to go cry in the kitchen. During deployment, it is a different kind of anxiety. 
Now that Lane is gone, the chance of something happening is always hovering around my mind. Lots of military spouses have ways to deal with the anxiety of their husband's being in harms's way. I have gone with the "pretend it's not happening" approach. Now because of Lane's position this might be a little easier for me. However, every once in while something happens and I am hit square in the face with intense anxiety that something will happen to Lane. I have developed a highly scientific strategy for dealing with different high stress situations.
My thought process when someone knocks on my door
  • "I talked to Lane a few hours ago. There is no way the Army has its act together enough to get a notification officer out here this quickly."
Also, I want to pass a law that no one can knock on your front door or ring your doorbell during deployment. I am thinking about getting a sign that says, "Please call before knocking on the door."

When I haven't heard from him: 
  • "Oh look someone from his FOB is on facebook. There would be blackout if he were hurt or dead. Therefore nothing bad has happened."
When there is a blackout 
  • If I just keep staring at his name on fb chat sooner or later that dot will turn green. It's literally the same as a middle school girl staring at the phone waiting for it to ring. Only much scarier. Seriously the worst. 
For my civilian friends, a blackout occurs whenever something happens to a soldier in the area. They want to make sure that no rumors or stories slip out until they can actually notify the family. There is zero communication.
When I hear about yet another helicopter crash or service member death 
  • Do an immediate calculation to the last time I heard from him and if he dropped any hints he would be leaving the FOB. 
These may sound ridiculous, but they seriously are what goes through my head in any of these situations. 

What were y'all's coping mechanisms? 


  1. My big go-to relief during deployment was the four hour notice rule. If something happens to a service member, the military has four hours to get in touch with their family. So anything you see on the TV or hear in the news - that family already knows it was their soldier. This was a huge relief for me. It was nice to know that any "breaking news" would be unrelated to my soldier - and if it was, I'd know before it became such.

  2. Oh yes, whenever a blackout hits I think of the last time I heard from him and usually determine that if they were going to find me, they would have done so by now. I think of it as a coping mechanism.

  3. I agree that not only is it ok to be morbid, it's completely normal! At one point during deployment, I got really dark. I just was sure something had happened to my husband. I had a care package ready to send but I couldn't bring myself to send it because I kept imagining that it would get returned to me upon his death. (Very morbid.) It wasn't until I talked to him again and was able to be reassured that I snapped out of it. Unfortunately, that's our reality being married to soldiers, and like you said, totally ok and totally normal. I hope you are hanging in there! Sending you and Lane nothing but good vibes!

    1. I always start to reply to your comments in e-mail! We have constant enough communication that I haven't had this particular mood. For me it's mostly what goes through my head when I hear something has happened. I absolutely HATE when people ring my doorbell.


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