Monday 24 February 2014

Til Death Do Us Part

You know those stories you hear about women on their deathbeds making their husbands promise that they will remarry? Some women even go so far as to try and find that future wife for their husband before they pass away. You've no doubt cried and shook your head in amazement like I have at these most unselfish and loving of wives. Yeah, I'm not one of those wives.

I do not want my husband to remarry after I pass away. There I said it. He's been married. Twice. The last 24 years have been to me but he has been married all of his adult life. Marriage is hard work. What I want for him is a break from all that.

I only came to this realization in the last few months. I was lying in bed, listening to him sleep and thought about how life has changed so drastically for him since I've been diagnosed. His role has changed from husband to caregiver. He has seen me at my worst and yet is always trying to make me feel my best. He has sacrificed his time, his hobbies and his needs because of me. It occurred to me that perhaps this is why so many men often jump into another marriage or relationship quickly after their wives have passed away from a terminal and debilitating disease. They may be longing for a life of normalcy that has been missing for the previous months or years. They likely just want to be able to hug someone without causing physical pain. Or to be able to express their anger without feeling guilty. Or to travel without restrictions. Or to look at a kitchen counter filled with dirty wine glasses instead of prescription bottles. Or to laugh. Or to stop being worried all the time.

I would completely understand if this is something my husband wanted to do after I'm gone. I still don't want him to do it. I want him to have the freedom that comes from no longer being a caregiver or a husband. Something he has never experienced. I want him to be able to eat what he wants, drink as much as he wants, watch all the wrestling he wants---all without the nagging or evil stare of a wife. I want him to spend all his summer days in a boat fishing if that's what he wants to do. I want him to hunt across the province and country all fall if that's what he wants to do. And, to have him tell it, I want him to be able to do something he says he hasn't been able to do in almost 25 years--fart.

Won't he be lonely, you might ask? People would actually be surprised to learn how much my husband enjoys alone time. He likes hours of uninterrupted silence which is far and few between around here. But I also know there will be no lack of friends who will visit, giving him the audience he craves for his stories, jokes and gossip.

What about sex? What about it! all four of my kids are screaming right now as they hurriedly try to log off whatever device they are currently reading this on. Terry is an attractive, funny and charming guy so I know he'll be okay in that department. What about companionship? Someone being his 'plus 1'? Unless it's one of his kids or grandkids getting married I think he'll be happy to have an excuse to not have to attend another wedding or gala event.

I know it's unrealistic to expect him to not fall in love again and I want him to have someone should he want to take a trip, go to the movies or just have a drink with on a Friday night. And, if this was happening 20 years ago and he had young children still to raise it would be a whole different scenario as I would definitely want him to have a partner in that. But he's not 25 anymore and we have no children living at home full-time. He deserves to have time with himself, to be accountable to no one and to do whatever he wants---that's my wish for him after I'm gone.

Last week, while on vacation, we renewed our wedding vows. It's something I've always wanted to do (see previous post on bucket lists) and something he's always resisted. This time he said yes. It was a beautiful and emotional ceremony with all our children present. He jokingly said, "There, that's done. We don't have to do that again." In all my selfishness, I agreed. I never want him to say those words again to anyone. I was not his first wife, but I want to be his last.

The irony is that once I'm gone he gets to stop doing something else he's had to do for almost a quarter of a century---listen to me. He may very well choose to marry again and I can't do anything about that (as far as I know now). Ultimately, all I really want for him is happiness--for as long as he shall live.

Until next time......carry on.


  1. What a very brave thing to write about...hugs and kisses...

  2. I actually laughed right out loud when I read some of this. I'm with you, I wouldn't want my husband to remarry either. I would like to think that he's soooo deeply in love with me that he couldn't possibly want another woman although I would want him to ultimately be happy too...I guess. Your blog is very enjoyable and a great gift to your family and friends. Love your sense of humour.

  3. Cindy, you are a precious gift to all of us. We missed you tonight. S.

  4. I want to comment because I'm so moved, but I don't really know how to put it into words. It's breathtakingly thoughtful and beautiful. This is love.

    1. Thank you for your words....they mean a lot.

  5. Cindy, I wish I had the words to express how you inspire me. You have such a way with your writing...because it comes from your heart!!! By the way I agree with what you said about getting re-married. I saw the picture of your wedding down south...the love in that photo came ooozing out onto the screen. It was so beautiful. Wishing you and the family lots of love.

  6. Thanks, Brigitte! Your words, thought and love mean so much! Hope all is well with you and that we run into each other sometime soon!