Shayne on You: Focus on living, not dying

Dear Maggie,

I know you usually advise people to be positive, but I just donít know how someone in my circumstances can be. Iím married to the best man in the world, but heís fifteen years older than I am. Weíve been together for thirty-seven wonderful years. And weíve been happier than any two people could be. But now heís seventy and Iím fifty five, and heís had a heart attack, had two surgeries, is diabetic, and just seems to be having one health crisis after another. He tries to act the same as always Ė but I know heís feeling his age. And I can see that heís going downhill, and the reality is that Iíll soon have years of life to face without him, and I just canít even imagine being without him. How do you suggest I find a positive way to think about that? I need something, because the thought of it is breaking my heart every single day.


Future Widow

Dear Future Ė ugh, I canít even say it.

OK, hereís the thing. Thinking about this has your full attention. You are breaking your own heart every single day by dwelling on this. Not to mention that the more you look for signs of his failing healthy, the more theyíre going to manifest. The more sure you are that youíre going to be a widow, the more quickly youíre drawing that reality straight to your door. Youíre already in mourning, for heavenís sake. Youíre a perfect match to the vibration of widowhood. You say you canít imagine what youíll do without him, but you can. Youíre already doing it. Youíre grieving as if heís already dead! You are dreading his death so much because itíll make you feel the way youíre already feeling. So if youíre so afraid of losing him and grieving him, then why have you started early?

I want you to realize that your very happiness is whatís at stake here. Youíre not fighting for it. Youíre throwing it away, all on your own. No, Iím not going to give you a positive way to think about your husbandís demise. Iím going to tell you to stop thinking about it at all. Stop creating the very future you donít want. Start enjoying every single day, every single moment that you have together. Relish them. Celebrate them. Not because youíre sure there are so few left, but just because theyíre wonderful. Not only will you attract more time, youíll both enjoy it more. Blow every improvement in his health out of all proportion as you gush about it. Do this together, and watch him improve. Whoís to say who is going to go first? My mom died at 60, my grandma just turned 90. Life is given to us to enjoy, not so that weíll spend our entire lives worrying about the end. There is no end, anyway. We are eternal.

You donít go on vacation, and spend your time weeping because youíll have to go home so soon. You enjoy it. Life is our cosmic vacation. So stop focusing on death and dying and dread, and get back to having a wonderful time with this man you love so much. I promise youíll never regret it.



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