If I were to die tomorrow, I would want my wife to do whatever she thinks is best for her, no strings attached.
This includes being with someone else, whether married or shacking up (to use advanced terminology), throw all my things into the river and to make all her future decisions based on her own desires – not out of an obligation to what she thinks I would want and certainly not anchored in the past.
I don’t expect to be idolized in my passing. I’ve seen many people try to live their lives through who they have lost and I’ve found it to be a misleading way to live. That’s my opinion and I certainly have earned it the hard way. All of us make choices every day that seems valuable at the time and later reveal themselves to be a total waste of effort and life.
As horrific of a cliché it is to say that “life is for the living,” it is inescapably true. I know that we probably want to be remembered, loved in our absence, and not delegated to dusty long-gone memories. But all of that is out of our control. Given enough time, almost all the people who have ever lived in this world have slid slowly into history without fanfare. It is the way of things.
We should live our lives in full recognition of its transparent timeline and hope that we have left a ripple of consequences behind that aren’t damaging.
One of my biggest failures in life seems to still be that I can’t express my sense of humor and wonder to my wife very well. The daily ordinary steeple chase seems to occupy and overwhelm all the creative ways I want to enjoy life with her. I have a million ways I could make her laugh and step back from the lunacy of daily living but seems to get bear trapped by the most boring details and fatigue of life.
When I’m gone, whether I’ve succeeded or failed in my efforts to add happiness and comfort to her life, I hope she can laugh at the stupidity of much of what we think we value, including my beliefs.
If nothing else, I can be a negative example to her!
Once my life has faded, I don’t want people using the word “should” to her or adding additional obligations.