Don’t get married until you’re ready to watch them die?

The second biggest regret of my life is marrying a man with a congenital heart condition. I regret this not because of his health or anything about him whatsoever. I regret it because of my own fault – because at 26 years of age I was not mentally or emotionally prepared to watch him die right in front of me.

I had always known it would be a risk in our relationship, but from all the research I did on his condition I knew that with proper medical care and monitoring, the odds were good that he would have a normal life expectancy. However, I did not know just how terrifying the prospect of that treatment would be for him. He was a brave man – but going under anaesthesia, facing the fact you might not wake up, and undergoing a major surgery is something that would challenge the courage of the bravest among us.

During our time together, he and I would watch many shows together and talk about them afterwards. It was one of our main methods of bonding. We still do this – but now the conversations are more one-sided with him (physically) gone. One show that I watched which made me think of him was The Haunting of Bly Manor. The Haunting of Bly Manor is a “ghost story” as stated by the storyteller in the very first episode. But by the end, it is clearly a love story as pointed out by one of the listeners in the show.

“I liked your story… but I think you set it up wrong just in the beginning. You said it was a ghost story. It isn’t. It’s a love story.”

This same character, who is preparing to be wed in the morning goes on to say the following about her upcoming nuptials.

“I just keep thinking about that silly, gorgeous, insane man I’m marrying tomorrow. I love him – more than I ever thought I could love anybody. The crazy thing is he loves me the same exact amount. We got lucky. Sometimes when I’m sitting next to him in that easy silence you only get with your forever person who loves you as much as you love them, I start getting really terrified that he’s gonna (die) before I do and then what am I supposed to do? How am I just supposed to live a life that he’s not in?

The storyteller leaves the young woman with advice not to worry about that now or to even think of it. As much of a “feel good” moment this is, that is terrible advice. Even without a congenital condition, any one of us can go at any moment. Accidents and disease are foreseeable tragedies even in our modern world of medical miracles. So my advice to any young couple considering marriage, please consider the reality that you may need to watch your beloved die before you in any given moment. If you can’t live with that, then don’t make the commiment.

Clip from The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix
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