As We Lay Dying

“An awareness of one’s mortality can lead you to wake up and live an authentic, meaningful life.” -Bernie Siegel

So I started reading this book recently. It’s called The Wife of a Lesser Man by Sandy Appleyard. It’s not supposed to be thought provoking or make you ponder the mysteries of life. It’s just a fluffy suspense read. However, it made my husband really call into question his mortality. It made him realize he is, in fact, scared to die. It made me realize that every moment brings us closer to that moment .

Now, I’m not done with the book, or anywhere close. My husband hasn’t even read it, and won’t because he isn’t a reader. In the beginning of the book, Shelley’s husband Mark has a heart attack and almost dies. When Shelley mentions the ages of her children, I realize just how old Shelley and Mark must be, and realize, that at one point in time, people in their 40’s seemed so old. Now, 40 does not seem old at all. I have a few friends in their 40’s and they all seem young to me.

This is the conversation that was happening with my husband and I on this night, and it made him realize quite a few things. He is not sure what happens in the after life. Will it be heaven or hell? Will it be reincarnation? Or will it just be nothing? A dark abyss? He is afraid to die.

I’m not afraid to die, but I am afraid of being alone. This conversation of death and dying made me realize that. At the thought of my husband dying before me, and being left to fend for myself in this crazy world alone, I realized that I want to die before he does. I have made this life with this man I love with every fiber of my being. I have made children with this man, laughed and cried with this man, and cannot imagine not being able to look at his face, kiss his lips, hug his neck, and snuggle up on the couch with this man.

When I was a teenager, I never imagined part of my identity being an old married lady with children. I thought I wanted no children, wanted no part of marriage, just wanted to be a workaholic. What kind of life is that? That shows how naïve I really was in my young mind.

I found myself at the end of this conversation curled up in a ball, crying my eyes out on my couch. That man of mine, took me in his arms, let me cry all over him, and listened to my crazy fears of being alone. In that moment, I realize how much we care for each other, and just how deep our love goes.


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