Living in the Past: Ever since I can remember, I worried that if I ever found someone who loved me they would be taken away. That was my biggest fear. I had seen it in movies. I experienced it on an internship in a Chaplain’s Office over-identifying with a man whose wife had died in a car crash. It was my greatest fear. It happened to me in April of 2006.
By then, however, I had come to realize I could not hold my wife forever. Every time she walked out the door, I could do nothing to protect her. So I came to an interesting conclusion. I decided since I could not hold her in my life, at least I could let her know how I felt about her. I decided I would always kiss her and say “I love you” whenever we parted. This way, if it should ever happen, at least she would know how I felt and I would know how she felt. She always reciprocated my words and actions.
The day she died from a brain aneurysm, I could have just waved to her from a distance and feign a kiss from across the parking lot. Instead I walked over to her car and kissed her through the window, just like the first time. I told her I loved her. That was the last time I saw her alive. Today, as I think back on our relationship I can smile knowing at the last moment we were together we expressed our love to each other.
Ever since that moment, this has been my way of dealing with the possibility of loss. I strive to make sure my loved ones know how I feel. In his song “The Secret O’ Life” James Taylor has these lyrics: “Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel.”
We cannot always protect our precious loved ones. We can, however, make sure they know we love them. I hope you never go through the loss of a loved one, but if you always tell them how you feel and it happens to you, at least you will know in the material world your relationship was on the highest plane humanly possible.
It is six years afterward and I still feel at ease about how Inga and I parted company.