Widower Wednesday: What if She Dies?

The following comment was posted in the comment section of a previous blog entry. It was a good enough question that I thought it would make a good Widower Wednesday topic.

My W and I are living together and talking about marriage. We were talking about it awhile back. I was trying to figure out why he was so resistant. He screamed out “I did that once and she died.” I’ve encouraged him to speak with his counselor about this. How do you overcome the feeling that love equals loss?

He repeatedly tells me he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. We even are planning on children. I’ve told him my reason for putting off children is him putting off marriage.

I understand your boyfriend’s concern. When I was falling head over heels for Marathon Girl I had to stop and think about whether or not I wanted to go through the possibility of losing someone again. At the time I was still reeling from Krista’s suicide and there was a part of me that knew if I fell in love again, there was the possibility (however slight) that she could pass on before me and I’d be a widower again. Yet that same chance of death existed (even though the thought never crossed my mind) when I married Krista. Yet I still married her.

We all know that we’ll eventually all pass on to the next life but that doesn’t stop millions of people from getting married every year. Thousands of widows and widowers fall in love and willingly tie the knot a second time even though they have firsthand experience of losing a spouse.

Why do they do this?

Because when you fall in love with someone enough to marry them, you want to experience all of life with that person. And life isn’t always pretty. After you get married, yes, one of you could eventually die but you could also go broke, lose a child, have the bank foreclose your home, become sick or ill with a horrible disease, get fired from your job, total your car, or experience other setbacks that are part of life.

When I married Marathon Girl, I knew there were no guarantees in life. Together we’ve experienced hard times and good times together but with her by my side the downs have been more bearable and the ups have been more enjoyable. We’re a team and we’ll be together until one of us parts from this life and then, if all goes well, we’ll be together forever in the next.

I don’t know your boyfriend well enough to know whether he’s really freaked out about losing your or simply playing the widower card because he doesn’t know if he loves you enough to tie the knot. But I do know that once people find that special someone all the concerns about what might happen go out the door. Whatever his reason, I think you’re wise to put off having children until he’s put a ring on your finger and made vows to love you forever.