Sunday, October 26, 2008
I Believe My Husband Will Die Young
I believe my husband will die young. But I believe our marriage is eternal—that we will be able to live together in heaven when I die also, leaving this earth to join him.
It seemed to take us such a long time to find each other in life. I am 32 and he is 35. I knew he had a heart condition when I married him and that his life span would probably be shorter than the average man’s—and I chose him anyway—because he was worth it. But I did not expect the problems to arise so very soon. I took him to the ER on our one month anniversary.
We had planned to go out to a nice dinner and then eat the top layer of our wedding cake—you know, all those fun, romantic newlywed plans. Instead, he had a heart attack and after lots of tests was implanted with a combination defibrillator/pacemaker. My sister had been my maid of honor and during her wedding toast she told our family and friends how she had watched my heart grow over the years, speaking symbolically of course. Now, I will literally have to watch the x-rays as picture after picture reveal my husband’s heart getting bigger—a symptom of cardiomyopathy—until it becomes too big for his body.
I am scared to love him too much, because if I do it will only be harder when he leaves me. A part of me wants to keep my heart locked up—so that my pain will not be so hard to bear when it happens. I want to shrink my heart so that there is less room for the pain later. It’s a simple equation—less love equals less loss. I want a heart so small that even the Grinch would cringe.
But in the end I know I will regret not sharing my full self with him. And even though I believe our life together on earth will be brief, I also believe that our Father in Heaven will let us make up the difference in the eternities. And if I do not allow myself to love as much as possible my heart will wither, and living life with a small, shrunken heart still doesn’t make the journey easier.
So I choose to fully love him—to understand him and laugh with and at him and cook for him and play with him as long as possible—hoping that in the end the size of our hearts will match.
Postnote: Jonathan died 6 January 2009
We had 3 ½ months of total happiness together on earth and will have eternity together always.
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