07 May 2012

Making Peace with One of My Fears

The thought of ever losing my dear sweet husband is one thing I probably shouldn't think of as much as I do - this is one area that I need to make peace with!  Just getting life insurance together made me teary eyed.  haha.  (We get a chuckle every time we think of my tears as we were filling out the paperwork - and then my cracking voice on the phone with the insurance agent.)  But I just hate thinking of not being in this life without Danny.  I hate thinking of the cancer that genetically runs in his family.  And as if I didn't already cherish every moment with Danny, these thoughts certainly make me want to cherish him even more.  Though I know my fears are one big fat reminder that I need to just be at peace.  And I mostly am.  Except for a few times.  Well, actually, that BQE does a number on me, too.  (My dear Danny rides all over crazy New York freeways everyday for his job.  And I sigh in relief every single day when he gets home safe.  If you could see the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, you would, too :)  So, I guess making peace with my fears are a work in progress.  I've got some work to do. 

Seeing this video, though, helped.  It reminded me that I just need to be so eternally grateful for the marriage that I've been able to experience.  Today is our 2nd Anniversary.  I am crying as I write this. I couldn't be more grateful for this man by my side.  He has such a beautiful soul.  And it is truly the honor of my life to be his wife.
 
I hope you have a short moment to watch this beautiful video, which just came out in the NY Times yesterday.  It's the story of a beloved husband's four-year struggle with dementia & a wife's unwavering love... 


Much love to all of you in your lives & in your marriages,

Mara

P.S.  The picture above was taken soon after our wedding about 2 years ago (thanks to Danny's unusually long arms :).  We were in Prague!  We backpacked Europe that summer  - cause when you have no jobs and no kids....well, backpacking Europe on a budget is in order.  :)

P.P.S.  Do you guys have fears of losing your spouse?  If so, let's work on this together.  Let's focus on letting go of those fears and cherishing all that we have.  (Any other ideas are welcome!)

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36 comments:

  1. Oohh You have no idea how much I am keeping those fears inside of me. The longer we live together, I feel that the bigger my fear is becoming. I am not only afraid of losing my beloved husband but I fear that I might be the first and leave him alone, will not be able to spend time with him any longer. My family has cancer history as well. Lately we're doing some paper works and I have been flying a lot here and there. We get separated for few months and those are the hardest. I get so thankful everytime we hear each other after a day's work.

    You are right at having peace with our fears. That's the only way to feel better.

    The video seem to be good but it gets cut after it started rolling, I was not able to watch it full. :(

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    1. Psychelyn - here's the link...maybe this will work. Sorry it got cut off. Thanks for writing in.

      http://video.nytimes.com/video/2012/05/05/health/100000001343193/in-love-and-loss.html

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  2. I once was talking about this with a buddhist monk and he told me: " Your relationship will end. " (yiiiikes!!!)and he continued: " One day you'll die, one day he will die, maybe something happens and you separate even in life... there is no way out of this. It may happen when you are both old, it could happen today or in two years. You can't protect yourselves from this. So what you are sure you have is the present moment and all you can do is love him with all your heart, be kind to him, be there for him, care for him and cherish him and your time together, every second, every day. So when time comes, you won't have wasted your precious and rare time together." It was at first scary to hear this, then I felt really reassured... and I am trying to cherish each moment!

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    1. This is so, so perfectly said. I agree with this Buddist monk completely! And what a beautiful state to be in. I feel what he's talking about on most days, actually, which shocks me - but I guess I'm not there 100% of the time...so thanks for these beautiful words.

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  3. I am terrified of losing my spouse as well! Ugh! I hate it! And unfortunately cancer runs through my husbands family as well. I try not to think about it too much but it's a scary thought

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  4. Oh, I do have great fears about losing my husband...thinking about it is just a side effect of a strong love. We talk about it, and I do my best to always cherish every moment. That video is so beautiful...whoa good cry. I wish you both a magical anniversary!

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    1. thanks for the good wishes! And glad you liked that video! (It made me cry, too.)

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  5. I have this fear too. I am just bursting with love for my husband and the thought of not having him makes a me so so weepy. :) I need to get over this fear too.

    By the way, I LOVE your hair in this picture! So natural. And that comment about Danny's arms made me laugh out loud!

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    1. Let's do it, Rik! I know full well that the fear only keeps us from fully enjoying every moment...so let's try to turn those fears around out of love for our lives and love for our husbands/families. I know this works! I do it often.

      Oh, and thanks for the compliment on the hair. ha! In Europe, since we carried everything on our backs - that meant no hair products. Not a single one. Some days it looked ok - on others, oh boy - not so much. :)

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  6. Oh Mara, this was a lovely post. Now that I have children I worry less about losing my husband but worry about losing one of my kids. As you know, my oldest daughter is recovering from a bone marrow transplant to cure her from Leukemia. One day, when she was first diagnosed, I was driving up to the hospital with my other two children. At the time, I was getting hardly any sleep for obvious reasons. I pulled off the highway to get gas and coffee but as I was returning to the freeway, I made a left turn on green when I was supposed to yield. I looked up and saw a car speeding at me. I had no where to turn my car as there was traffic to my right. The other car was going so fast and he had no where to swerve either. I realized I was about to get in a head on collision and likely kill myself and maybe my other children. I closed my eyes tight and prayed. And I was filled with these words: "It's going to be alright. It's going to be alright." I sat and braced for the impact, but nothing happened. I opened my eyes and saw the car had managed to stop with in a millimeter of my car. Our windows were side by side. We were so close I could have touched the driver. The man was screaming profanities at me - rightfully so. I was so shaken up I had to drive to a parking lot and sit for a while. But I realized that the voice telling me "it's going to be alright" was a message from God. I was sure He was telling me that not only would I be spared from the accident but that my daughter Julia would be alright no matter what. In that moment I learned a powerful lesson: I could have died right then. My other children could have died. It was ironic because I was so worried about Julia. I realized I have no control or power over life and death. I realized that I had to let go of the constant worry. Let Go, Let God, right? Of course, I still worry but not as much. I know that this life is just one portion of our journey so I try to just enjoy every single second of it. In the end, no matter how things turn out, it's going to be alright!

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    1. Shelley - this was an amazing story. Thank you so much for writing this out. I hope everyone sees this as it's so inspiring. How true it is that our worries just hold us back - and even harm us. And how true it is that no matter what, it will be alright (even if things don't go our way!). I am so grateful that there is deliverance available to all of us - no matter what happens. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  7. Mara! Oh my goodness, I cannot believe you wrote about this. I have this overwhelming fear about losing my husband. I feel the same way, I feel so relieved when he walks through the door every night, because we just never know. I've always had this fear but I recently lost my grandpa and I was in the room when he passed (a first for me) and it's made mortality even more apparent and real to me. Life is fragile and there's so much we don't know. I have really gotten wrapped up in worry about this. I was just thinking the other day, "I wonder if Mara worries about losing Danny ever?" I know that seems silly but I love your blog and I have really tried to be more mindful of the perspective you share on here and this is just one of those things that I can't seem to make peace with. And you just seem so at peace with everything that I figured you had this one covered. The other day I was thinking about it and I just had this inspiration (if you will) to just start praying about it. Pray to become at peace with it because it's certainly not something I can do alone. (So yes, let's do this together, I love the comments on this post and can't wait to read more!!!) On the positive side, though, I am very aware of every day being a gift with him. I truly cherish every moment...and that's a great blessing.

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    1. Sharlee! This was so sweet. I love the idea of praying about it. Thank you so much for sharing that. Let's do it. And I was just thinking - what's silly is we think the fear = love. We have so much fear because we just love our spouse so much (ha!). But fear is actually not the greatest offering of love - peace and wholeness is. Because only when we are free of fear can we then cherish each moment and offer our best self - instead of a rattled nerves & anxiety. Thanks, again. And thanks for writing in!

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  8. Good post! This is a major extreme fear for me that I am dealing with trying to manage each day. On Valentine's Day this year my sweet husband who is just 30 collapsed and we found out he had a huge brain tumor which turned out to be stage III brain cancer. It is the most horrific trial of my life. Knowing that most people with this rare agressive form of cancer only usually survive between 4 and 7 years. I am faced with the bitter truth that we probably won't be growing old together. Since we got married two years ago, we have become such a beautiful fusion of two people that already I can't imagine my existance alone without him. Even our fertility issues were easier to bear because at least I knew I would always have him. Luckily, we have the kind of marriage that I am sure we will see each other again after this life, but its still just so scary sometimes. I would love tips on how do deal with this because I want to enjoy his healthy days, not worry them away.

    I am blogging about it and it is so therapeutic! www.actuallyeverafter.blogspot.com

    Love, Lindsey

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    1. Lindsey,
      I do not know you but I will be checking out your blog. I would like you to know that you and your husband are already in my prayers. My heart aches for you. What strength you will need and I will pray for peaceful days that are full of love and less worry!

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    2. Lindsey,

      I'm with Sharlee... you are in my thoughts and prayers... I can't even imagine. Sending you all the love and strength I possibly can through this little comment on a blog...

      I didn't lose my husband to an illness or and accident, so I'm can't relate in that sense, but I did lose my husband to infidelity and betrayal. The day I found out literally felt like he died- except there was no body to be buried into the ground. It was the most horrific experience of my life... and I'm still healing.

      I'm heading over to you blog now...

      XOXO

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    3. Lindsey, My husband also has brain cancer and I write about it too. I am so happy I found you. He had his first biopsy on Valentines day only nine months after we were married. My blog is here at: http://makingmemoriesofus2012.blogspot.com/ and I agree it is so therapeutic.

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  9. I think about my husband and people in my family dying all the time, I guess I really love torturing myself :) I'm slowly thinking about it less and I'm figuring out ways to help me cope with it when I just can't stop my mind from wandering that way. But it's nice to see I'm not the only sad sack out there with a terrible imagination :)

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  10. http://typographicverses.com/post/9589079766/there-is-no-fear-in-love-but-perfect-love-casts
    just thought i'd share :)

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    1. Ayelen, I am in love with this quote. It is so perfect. Thank you for sharing. It's so true - that with the HEALTHIEST kind of love, there is no room for fear. Thank you. Thank you.

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  11. I love this whole passage that speaks to us about God's love: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John+4&version=NIV
    I love that it talks about how [God's] love is made complete among us :) so good to know that we're not on our own!

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  12. Wow, what a timely post. I have struggled with the fear of my husband dying for a few years now. He is in the military so he leaves a lot (and can be in dangerous situations). I know how hard it is to live life and raise our boys without him. And when I've experienced it in the past, I always knew that he'd be back sometime. I'm not sure how I would handle this life without him knowing that he wouldn't be coming back.

    I had an experience where the Lord told me that a lot of my life would be spent alone. Of course there are many reasons for that but my brain immediately went to my husbands death. Since then it has almost always been on my mind. A few months ago I finally told my sister about my fears and experiences. It was amazing how much it helped to vocalize my fears to someone. I don't think about it as much anymore but the fear is still there.

    Last week my husband was assigned to be the casualty assistance officer for the widow of a soldier who committed suicide. He has seen first hand what the family has to deal with after the death of a loved one and soldier. It has been a really emotional week for both of us. It has also helped us to realize what a great life and relationship we have. It has really helped us to be more in the moment.

    I know that I still have a long way to go before I overcome my fear of losing my husband. I must admit that hearing you have the same fear makes me feel more normal. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I'm going to work on overcoming it with you.

    Thanks for your blog and for helping me overcome fears, as well as many other things.

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    1. thanks so much for sharing. Let's do it:) Out of love for our husbands!

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  13. I think (and pray about) the reality of losing my husband frequently. My husband is also in the Military and so it's something that's very real to me. He just got home from Afghanistan a few weeks ago and I finally feel like I can take a full breath of air.

    It's something I think about, but I would waste my life away if I worried about him constantly. Even in light of that, death is still a reality of the lives we live. We actually have a memorial service for 4 lost soldiers this week. It makes me constantly grateful that God's plan for our lives is better than we could plan it ourselves.

    Thanks for posting this. I think it is a more common fear than people realize. Incidentally I used to have a career as a life insurance agent. I frequently spoke to people in tears.

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    1. So I'm not the only one that gets teary eyed over life insurance? that's too funny. I guess my weak spot is when I'm forced to think about it. But all the comments today are so helpful.

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  14. Thank you for sharing the beautiful video. As i struggle with fears of loosing my beloved husband and kids, I often pray with my fist open. It reminds me to trust in a God who loves my family infinitely more than I understand, to trust in a God who is good all the time, and will get me through all things. As I drove a curving dark road with my son sleeping in the back seat last night, I had to pray with an open hand the entire drive!

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    1. Ange - I really loved this. thank you! I want to try it.

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  15. I had *feelings* for years that I would become a widow... that something really bad was about to transpire. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew something was about to happen. I'd lay in bed at night, with my husband beside me, imagining how I would cope if he died... what I would do... how I would raise my son alone...

    One day, it all happened. He didn't die, but what I thought we had did. And that really did feel like he literally did die that. In one day.... everything I thought I had known for 6 years was void. All lies... betrayal... infidelity... money... he never loved me.... regretted marrying me... was unhappy... He had been pretending all along.

    I had become a divorced single mom. I had lost him.

    So while I do think it's healthy to stop stewing or stressing about the unknown, I also think that sometimes it can be the spirit (or your inner self or whatever you believe) preparing you for the future. At least this is how it was for me... there were SO many times that I can now look back and say without a doubt that I was being guided and prepared for the horrific events that would soon transpire.

    I'm learning to always trust my gut and myself... I don't want to be overly paranoid but, I have realized the importance of listening to that inner feeling/fear (especially if it's reoccurring often- like it was for me)

    Just my take anyway...

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  16. P.S. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!

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  17. Good for you guys! Wonderful blog with interesting caring comments. James www.loveletterdaily.com

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  18. Oh Mara, thank you so much for sharing that video. I am in tears. My grandfather is currently suffering from moderate dementia. (He is not as afflicted as the man in the video). It is the most difficult thing to watch. I love him so much. This video reminds me that I have so much to be thankful for in the midst of this trial of his declining health. Thank you --e

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  19. I worry about losing my spouse more often than I like to admit. He is a new helicopter pilot, and ever since we started dating three and half years ago, when people find out what he does, a horror story often follows. Horror stories about money and horror stories about dangerous situations.

    Thank goodness for faith, and amazing relationship, and the sealing power!

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  20. Thank you. As soon as I started reading, I knew I'd start crying. My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year now. And I knew right away that I'm going to marry him. Because I simply can't imagine this life without him by my side. And every single day I worry that he is going to die and he'll leave me here, wishing for him. He works construction so sometimes he's in high, dangerous places, using dangerous equipment. And when he doesn't call at his normal times, I think something has happened. I don't know how to gain peace with this so any posts you have will be an inspiration and a true way to help me conquer my own fear.

    Thank you for your blog. It has, in only one day of reading it, already changed me.

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  21. Hi gang, I'm not sure if anyone's still reading this. My husband has an absolutely terrifying history of heart/cardiovascular issues in his family and I live in incredible fear that I will lose him. Today he went to the emergency room for what I/we thought was something heart related but was likely just something wierd and viral. Anyway - I was happy to read that I'm not alone, that my fears aren't just something exaggerated but something others feel, too. Thanks all for your heartfelt posts. It really helped me tonight.

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  22. I fear losing my husband every single day. It is a constant and heart breaking fear that never truly leaves me. My husband was diagnosed with brain cancer just nine months after we were married in the temple. I am so grateful that we will have eternity together but I fear the emptiness of a life time without him.

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  23. I have an extreme sadness when it comes to thinking of the death of my husband. He is my soulmate and is 29 years my elder. We have been happily married for over 7 years and I could not imagine my life without him. He just turned 60 and is still very full of life and energy. I do not think my thoughts are unfounded. He will die before me if nature takes its natural course. But I've found myself crying every day thinking of what my life will be like when he is gone. I do not fear it but I am sad that I will not be able to spend the rest of my life with him. I am so thankful that I have found this love that most people never know they are missing. But it is still the reality that i will be alone for decades after he is gone. I cherish every moment I have with him. All we have is love and we spend every second of every day together. He is gone for work four days every week. When he is gone we are on the phone for over eight hours every day. And when he is home we never spend a minute apart, literally. We have always been this way. And somehow, even though I do cherish and love him in every way possible, it is still not enough to think that one day in the future i will have to wake up in the morning and he won't be there and he won't ever come back. I am crying just trying to write this. He tells me that i will find someone new to be with someday and even though it won't be no where near as special as what we have that i will be able to live a happy life. I joke with him and tell him I am going to be the crazy cat lady until i see him again. But for me it is not a joke. Knowing a love this deep and grand and amazing, with my best friend, I know way too much now to settle for anything less. and I know that this is a once in an eternity type of love, so I know after he is gone I will be alone until the day I die. It is just so sad and ironic, that after the very cruel life I lived until I met him, and the horrible and sad life he lived in his past, that we finally meet the one true person we are intended to be with, only to know that very soon it will ripped away from us. I just hope there is a heaven so we can be together for the rest of eternity.

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