Love and Death

"Love of mine, someday you will die. But I'll be close behind. I'll follow you into the dark."
~ Death Cab for Cutie

Do you ever fear the day someone you love will die? When I was 16, my grandma passed away after years of battling the effects of numerous strokes. It was a long time coming and we all knew that even the slightest illness could take her from us. In the days leading up to her death, after the director of the nursing home called to tell us about her "unfortunate condition", I had this indescribable fear. Most people, when they hear they're about to lose someone they love, mourn. But I couldn't. I had lost many other people in the past, so death was a very real concept to me, I knew exactly how devastating it was. But for some reason, I couldn't mourn until my grandma had really passed away. My fear was the only thing I felt until the day she died. 
I don't know if my fear was for her or for myself. I knew she was in pain and I knew that the past few years had been terrible to her weak, little body. But I also knew that with her passing would come much change for our family. Without her, my brother and I would only have one grandparent left (who passed the following year). We would no longer have a reason to get together with my dad's distant sister's family for holidays. My grandma would never be able to give me her lipstick kisses again. Traveling to Michigan just wouldn't have the same purpose anymore. Everything would change. 
But when she did pass away in October of 2007, when my parents showed up in my 8th period chemistry class, the fear melted away and I cried right there in front of my entire class without explanation, because all that mattered was that my grandmother would never give me a lipstick kiss ever again. I cried for days even after her beautiful funeral. I cried because I missed her. I cried because I loved her and never told her enough. I cried because I would never get to hear any of her smart-ass comments when we would normally go to visit at Christmas or Thanksgiving or for her birthday. I cried because I knew she was an incredible woman and deserved my tears. 

Christmas 2006. My grandma's last Christmas.

Before my grandma passed away, death devastated me. When she passed, I was more devastated than ever before. And now, I have a new fear. I have nightmares about it, I think about it when he's driving long distances or practicing combatives or out in the field shooting military strength weapons, I pray more when one of us flies than I do in an entire year. I scare myself silly with my vivid imagination sometimes of all the possibilities. There's a new love in my life. And this time he's a man. And this time he's the Love of my Life. And this time I feel as if I would also die if his life was ended in any way. The fear is here, the love is here, and the tears are here anytime I hear a song about death on the radio or on my Pandora stations. They're here anytime I hear about anyone dying. They're here when I wake up crying from a nightmare. When any of these situations arise, I feel this indescribable need to call or text him immediately to tell him how much I love and appreciate him and can't wait to see him again. 
If I'm like this while he's still alive and healthy and in the prime of his life, what the hell will happen to me when he dies (if he dies before me, which is NOT preferable)? Ideally, we both live happily until we're about 75 and then I die. And then a few years later, he dies. But life is unpredictable and teenagers die in car accidents and buses roll over and trains fall off tracks and drunk drivers hit pedestrians and planes have mechanical errors and terrorists are constantly aiming at Washington D.C. and people die of pop-up diseases overnight and psychos shoot innocent people and THE WORLD IS SO UNSAFE! 

In short, I'm terrified of Josh dying before me. I honestly feel like my life would end. I would want to die too. And dying of a broken heart is the worst way to die. The movie P.S. I Love You breaks my heart in so many ways and sometimes, just once in a while, I feel like maybe I'd be able to heal. But movies are made in Hollywood, not in real life. Josh is a real person. No one else has ever had such an impact on my life and on my heart. And I know this post made me sound like a maniac, and no, I don't think about this ALL the time, but I just needed someone to know how scary this is to me. Does anyone else ever get these feelings? Has anyone ever experienced the death of a boyfriend or spouse?


Anonymous said...

Loving someone is really scary! But I think the rewards outweigh the risk! All we can do is pray and have faith:)

Anonymous said...

I definitely fear my boyfriend dying sometimes.. I've been known to really panic if he doesn't respond to a txt or call for a while and I know he's taking a long drive or something. Even the thought of losing someone close to me can bring me to tears sometimes, but I think that its definitely possible to get through anything with faith.

Mrs. Nix said...

I hear ya, ladies! Not that we should only stop and pray during bad or uncertain times, but when I feel like this I'm often reminded to just pause and send my fears to the Lord. It's so hard to just be patient and trusting sometimes!

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