I have never really been afraid of death. I figure it happens to everyone and because of that, it can’t be all that bad. No sense worrying about it if I have absolutely zero control.
When people ask what changed for me after getting married, or what’s different… which really, not that many people have, but I do think about it and do a sort of self evaluation, I would say this. Not that I’m worried I will die, but that the idea of losing Kamel breaks me. And now that it is not just me anymore, I have so many things I need to do before anything unexpected, like up and kicking the bucket, happens.
I’m generally a crier with sad or overly stressful books and movies, so nothing new there, but now I actively avoid stories with spouses who die, or tragic separation, or pretty much any romance that doesn’t work out. I’ll skim the pages, or stop watching the movie. I can’t deal with it. Yes, these things happen, yes it’s just pretend, but it’s also just too close to me.
During the summer of 2006 I spent a lot of time alone, watching the Oprah 25th anniversary DVD collection. Let me tell you – that shit will make you cry every single time. I would finish watching a segment, crying into my sweatshirt sleeve, and then call my then boyfriend to interrogate him in hypotheticals.
“So say that we’re married for like 15 years and I lose both my legs… or that I had a lot of memory loss, like I could only remember things from a long time ago but nothing since 2003 to now, but I could remember things in 15 min intervals and then I would for get again… would you still love me? And stuff?”
And he would ask me if I had been watching Oprah and I would say yes.
That’s how I feel times a thousand. Except now I have a husband, and I can see our long life stretched out before me with all of the twists and turns and possibilities, and I don’t want to lose that. No matter what crap we may go through, I don’t want that road to end for a really long time and I’ve never had that feeling be so real before. It’s no longer a hypothetical. Now we’re a little family, and we’ve got some plans, and the idea of being ripped apart slays me.
To me, even though we lived together during our engagement, I wasn’t married until we were married. It wasn’t “like” being married, it was like being engaged, it was living together and working together and moving forward together but it wasn’t being married. But now the flip has switched, this is it, this is my family, the father of my children, my buddy through every up and down, the person I want to strangle and at the same time protect against everything. Suddenly, I have something to lose.