Monday, May 5, 2008

Somewhere, Over the Rainbow...

Whenever I'm pregnant I suffer from morbidity. As in, when I was pregnant with Lydia, and I worked in Orem and lived in Provo, every day when I drove home through the sleet and snow in mid winter, Avram getting a call from the hospital of my accident and death would run through my mind. Not that I tried to dwell on it, but it was like watching a movie in my head. Sometimes I would even begin crying as the sadness of my untimely death rolled through my mind. It was bad enough that Avram didn't like me driving alone anywhere, because every time I did I would imagine car accidents and death.

Avram's death also seemed imminent at any moment. I often thought of what I was supposed to do as a 23 year old widow with a new baby coming, and where would I go to live, and how was I going to survive without him. I thought of ways I could meet a new husband as soon as possible, so that I wouldn't have to be unmarried. I even wondered if I could convince my then-unmarried brother-in-law to marry me, just so I wouldn't have to find new in-laws, and then according to the bible, all the kids would belong to Avram anyway. (Don't worry, Samuel, it's not like I had a crush on you. And don't worry, Aleatha, now that he's married, I'll just have to get Luke to marry me if this happens).

During this last pregnancy with Elisheva I was also similarly convinced. Thankfully I haven't had a car to drive in England, so I never worry about car accidents. Mainly I just worried about birthing accidents. I have at various times while living here planned out funerals for all members of the family, I have pondered whether family would fly out here (or even should; after all, if I'm already dead then there's no point, right?), and how in the world Avram would take care of two daughters without me, although one day in tears I did make him promise to keep Lydia and Elisheva with him, no matter how hard it was, rather then farm them out to others to raise.

I was reminded of this when I listened to IZ sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on my sister's blog. I absolutely love that version of the song, and want it at my funeral; it's a good poignant song, but still is happy enough in its own sad way that I wouldn't feel like my funeral would be a downer. Also, I want people to donate to the PEF fund, like they asked for President Hinckley's funeral, I am very insistent on an upright headstone (which seems to be very common here, as apposed to in America), I want to be buried in the Yarnton Cemetery, which happens to be right by the Manor, so it would be like being buried in my home here (which is a positive thing in my mind), and I've asked Avram to plant a permanent flowering bush, like a miniature rosebush, or maybe plant perennial flowers on my grave, so that way I'll have flowers every year (he promised to do so under pain of wifely anger).

Thankfully I have a husband is very understanding; he takes me seriously, and has variously promised in recent months to do all I ask him about my funeral, burial (although he thinks I ought to be shipped back to America, but I wouldn't want my dead body crossing the world for two reasons. The first, is it's romantic to be the young wife, buried in far off England, and the second is I'm cheap, and it's probably really expensive to ship a dead body; much more than a living one. Avram did say that if my relatives wanted to fly over for the funeral, he wouldn't dissuade them, because if they needed to say their goodbyes, it would be worth the money to do so {I thought that maybe they shouldn't come, because it would cost too much}), and raising our daughters afterwards. At the same time, his complete faith that I won't die, now will anything else untoward happen reassures me as well. (As you can tell by his intercepted comments that he thinks I'm a little ridiculous about it all).

Now that I'm not pregnant I haven't thought of my morbid pregnant tendencies until I heard that song, and it brought it all back to me. It reminds me of how Anne of Green Gables was making a cake once as a child, and was thinking of how someday her best friend Diana would get married, and Anne would be left alone, and she cried so hard, she forgot some essential ingredient, like the flour. I guess I'm just sentimental (Avram added silly here, and that I'm so weird). It's not like I'm depressed when I'm pregnant; I don't want to die, nor do I want him or our children to either. I don't actually fear it, either; I don't avoid driving, I don't feel particularly dangerous when I am driving. Neither do I avoid any other activities. It's more like I have a heightened awareness of life and death all around me, particularly for myself and those I love. Maybe all the life creating inside of me is offset by my thoughts of death contingency plans. (Avram intercepts here and comments that maybe I'm just crazy).

Sometimes I think I like being sentimental, though. I even like the word. Do any of you ever get weird thoughts in Pregnancy? Or just in general?


  1. My mom said that the only unpleasant thing with her pregnancies (she didn't even get morning sickness!) was that she would regularly have nightmares where a man would break into their house at night and attack them. She also says that her mother said, of her own pregnancies, that she always felt better about herself while pregnant, as opposed to being somewhat depressed and hard on herself normally.
    Needless to say, whenever I get pregnant in the future, I hope I take after my mom and grandma, who never had morning sickness and other such problems.

  2. i think of things like this too. So i think its normal! For instance today we went and visited Taylor's grave and I made the comment that there was an empty space in baby row ( where all the babies are buried) and that was perfect so this little boy could be buried by Taylor... and then after a pause i added if he dies of course. Cory was a bit creeped out that i even would suggest the baby die. I think about it alot though.. I think about what i would bury him in, what pictures i would want this time round. That i would invite the whoel familiy up to meet him or have an open caseket so that he would be a read baby to them this time. ( hard to pretend they didnt excist when you hold a 6 pound baby in your arms) so i guess i am morbid.. but i think in reality i am just a planner. I like to plan things and be prepared so i think of all the things that i want to happen just in case.

    oh and by the way i like up right headstones too.. but you dont get a choice much anymore. certain parts of cemetaries and certain cemetaries dont allow them anymore. Its becuase its more costly to mow around them. also for the record we are not allowed to plant flowers or things like that at taylors site for the same ( mowing) reasons. Anyways just thought you might like to know. By the time you DO die plan it to be in a small town cemetary becuase the big ones are usually not allowing those headstones you like anymore. ( where cory's dad is buried you cant have them at all)

  3. Ever since I was a child, anytime someone was late, I had them dead and buried and had moved on in my life before they showed up just fine. I think part of it is trying to deal with the practicalities that go with death before you have to deal with the emotional issues if in fact someone you love dearly does die.

  4. Thora, I do the same thing! when Ben whent to England for his friends wedding and I was waiting for his call to let me know that he was okay, I created all sorts of situations in my head. I imagined that he died in a plane crash and that I would be all alone. You have to understand that Ben is in charge of all of our bill paying and such. So I was paniking that I had no idea how to even pay our bills or what. Also would I stay here, or move back home? I had pritty much planned the next 20 years of my life in just a few moments.
    One time when I was driving myself and my very pregnant sis-in-law around I got to thinking that if I got in to a wreck and her and the baby died, how I don't think that I could live with myself. How mad my brother in law would be.
    I wonder why we do this. I have always done it. When I tell Ben he acts like I have a really over acting imagination. He gives me this look like I am crazy or something. So I don't usually tell him.
    I also have ones where Ben divorces me.
    Oh well I guess that I am just a little weird :)
    Love ya

  5. Don't worry Thora, I am not upset by your ideas or comments at all. In fact I am in full support of them. It is a fine biblical tradition to marry the older brother's wife. I am in support of all biblical traditions. When Avram dies, you can be my second wife. Polygamy works.

  6. My wife wants me to add that I do not actually support the practice of plural marriage. This is a fact. Plural marriage is a practice that has long been illegal in America and is not support by our religion. As a result the above statement was intended entirely as a humorous addition to the conversation.

    However, I have heard that polygamy is legal in certain other nations. We could always move there....

  7. I am sooo glad that I am not the only one! Sound like there are a few of us out there! Oh, and samuel, I think your comments were funny.

  8. But Samuel, what about me? I have every intention of marrying Avram as soon as plural marriage is re-instated. Thora and I have discussed this. At length. So if he dies, where does that leave me? What does the Bible say about marrying both your older brother's wives?

    (Disclaimer: I am just kidding. Mostly.)

    I, too, have planned for people's deaths . . . my parents', since I'm not married. I've thought about how we'd cope, since I'm old enough now to be a guardian for my siblings. The mission would be out. The master's degree would be out. Camp would be out. I would just have to work and take care of Bethe and Teancum, and learn how to do things like health insurance and car repair and selling things on ebay to buy food. I keep wondering if sister Cat would help out, but I'm pretty sure she wouldn't.

  9. Perhaps I shouldn't confess this, but ever since I have been married, I have been planning what I would do if Kevin dies--not like, financially or anything, but who I would marry. The thoughts go in bizzare directions. The other day, my husband and my sister rode together to an early church meeting, and before we joined them later, I had already mentally married my brother-in-law after both of them died in a car accident just so that our two children (one hers, one mine) could continue to have the most stable home possible. Even though I am very glad I am currently married to my husband and not my brother-in-law, and it would take much change of taste to feel otherwise, I decided that I could and would do that, for the sake of the children. I don't know if this is better or worse than before we had kids and I would wonder if someone that I had wanted to date before Kevin would still be available, or perhaps available again, after Kevin died. I'm glad I'm not the only one with objectively morbid thoughts. For the record: I do not want my husband to die or to marry anyone else.