Relationships

Do you ever worry about your partner dying?

So, as you may know, I’m a worrier, but here’s the worry always in the back of my mind…

A couple years ago, I read an amazing memoir, Epilogue by Anne Roiphe. Her husband died suddenly after 39 years of marriage, and she wrote about her daily life after his death. What broke my heart was how she missed the little things–like the way her husband cut onions–and she’d wake up surprised that he wasn’t lying next to her.

Although she was a successful writer with lots of friends in Manhattan, her days grew long and lonely. She resisted calling her daughters every evening since, as she said, “they had their own lives.” She got restless at home, but when she was out of the apartment, she just wanted to hurry back. As an effort to move on, she tried online dating. Her stories were sweet and hilarious. (One guy felt her up in the middle of a restaurant, eeks!)

Honest, funny and touching, Epilogue was a true love story. Here are a few beautiful paragraphs Anne Rophie wrote about her husband that will make your heart swell. I’d highly recommend the book, if you want an amazing read.

However, reading Epilogue had a strange and unexpected side effect: It made me miss Alex, even when he was right there. I would get so drawn into the book–and felt so connected with the author, as if I were living her days with her–that I would momentarily feel as if I, too, had lost my husband. Then I would hear Alex making hot chocolate in the kitchen, or he’d walk into the bedroom to read next to me, and I would almost tear up that I actually had him here me, in the flesh, to hug tightly and smell his scent and lie next to and talk to. It made me feel so lucky.

Love is such an amazing, powerful thing, but you have so much to lose. To be honest, sometimes it scares me. Who knows what the future will bring? If you’ll be left alone? Alex, who is thirteen years older, is such a huge part of my daily life, I can’t imagine living without him. (And who knows, I might not have to.) It’s hard to think about. Happily, day to day, it reminds me not to take my relationship for granted, not to hurry through a goodnight kiss or goofy joke or random hug in the kitchen; those little moments are what life and marriage are all about.

I sort of feel nuts writing this post, and I almost didn’t. Am I neurotic to think about this? Or is it normal and natural to think about sometimes? I mean, it is part of everyday life.

Do you ever worry about your romantic partner dying? Has anyone close to you ever died? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

(Vintage photo from Superbomba)

  1. Ash O. says...

    Yes! I also have these thoughts a lot! With my last two I never did. But, I also have GAD, so that could be part of the reason. But, about 6 months or so months into us dating I’ve had these worries about him passing. We’re both young and healthy as far as we both know but i know someday that we will pass away and it’s so scary! So glad I’m not the only one who has these thoughts. Maybe it’s just a sign that shows how much we truly care!

  2. Kauhi says...

    Everyday. I think about this everyday. And it’s is very crippling. I love my husband so much and we have kids together so losing him will flip our whole world sideways. I can’t even bare the thought but here I am consumed in this never ending loop. But that just goes to show to live out life to its fullest. Never taking a moment for granted. Love is a powerful thing. Also I’m glad I’m not the only one with these thoughts

  3. Jeets says...

    I used to worry that my boyfriend would get fed up and leave. Our love has grown so much deeper now I am worried about something happening to him and having to live my life without him. I have abandonment issues and love with my whole heart and soul so I think is why. But it’s interesting to see in what ways my fear shifted. Rather than worrying he’s going to break up with me, I now worry about him dying before me. What does this mean?! I have no idea…. lol

  4. Richard says...

    I am glad I found this page and the comments. I always thought I was just odd for worrying about my husband dying. We met eight years ago and just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. We’re both in our early forties now, and though we didn’t meet until we were in our thirties, he’s the first person I have ever loved romantically. I can’t imagine my life without him. Both of my parents passed away when I was in my early twenties, so I do know that loss is a part of life that can hit you suddenly. This pandemic has really brought this anxiety to the surface. We’re both healthy so far but none of us ever know what may happen. It helps to know that many people understand this feeling and that I’m not just overly neurotic. I just need to make sure I always let him know in word and deed how much I love him.

  5. josh says...

    it is 11:58pm on a Tuesday and here i am sitting again in tears. i am 32 and my wife is 45. we have no medical issues and have a good life with the normal amount of struggle. yet i am mortified of ever losing her. i am not even sure why this is on my mind so much. it is such a crippling feeling. often i lay awake at night wishing we where the same age so i would have more time. then i wonder how long i have left with her and just the thought of her not being around throws me in absolute turmoil. im very grateful for this post and all the comments because now i know im not alone in feeling this way. thank you for lifting my self-inflicted burden a little bit.

    • Wayne says...

      My wife is a few years older than me as well but we are both in our sixties now and that has caused my worries of losing her to resurface all over again. Especially now with this epidemic going on. I am thankful to be able to share this with you and just to say that we all must cherish each and every day we have with our loved ones!

  6. I struggle with this the most. We aren’t old enough to live together, but when he leaves me or he falls asleep and I wake up to call him and he doesn’t reply. I think something happened. Like a fire, a shooting, a car accident, a heart attack, truly everything you could think of. I will start bawling my eyes out praying to God to keep him safe. I want to grow old with him, I want him to be the father of my kids. Our story isn’t over. He is saved, I know I’d see him again. But i would die if i couldn’t smell his scent, or hear his laugh, or hold his hand, or kiss his lips every single moment. I am going on a trip around the country and i feel like i cant because i want to be as close to him as i can. Cause what if? But we have no control over it. It is crazy that we think we have so much control over death, that if we were gone something would happen. Even though, it could happen when our presence is here. I have faith in God, but do you ever think what if His plan is for him to die? I never loved someone this much, i never will until i am a mother. But i fear that if something does happen, I’d live in regret for not being in the complete and utter moment. Losing a family member is a different kind of love, then losing your life mate. Thank you all. I feel less crazy.

    • Francesca says...

      Thank you so much for writing this comment. It helped me a lot. I’ve recently started dating the love of my life and I get scared of loosing him. He street races (like me and is also very into cars and drives slightly erratic at times) and recently I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about him dying while driving. I was good for about two weeks but today I lm worrying about it very badly. I’m scared that something Will happen. I’ll loose the sweet texts and random FaceTime calls and every little thing about him. But reading the article and comments helped me so much!

    • Sofia V says...

      I know I am a worry wort , I love my husband so much I want to continue to grow old together we have been together for half our lives already , I just want to do so much together an be with out family as long as we can healthy an happy in the future. This pandemic made me more anxious then I already am. Thanks for the posts , feel that I’m not that neurotic either :)

  7. Dana says...

    I googled “fear of losing my partner” this morning because of a conversation with my significant other last night. He is 16 yrs older than me and I try to be grateful for the moments we share. We’ve had conversations about death and how he would like things to go when it does happen. It’s hard to think about, let alone talk about. I usually end up crying. I can only imagine a hollow life without him.

  8. Emily says...

    I am 31… my husband is turning 40. We have the perfect life. I’ve had the perfect life… never been dumped, we have 2 beautiful girls; one from his previous marriage and one from me…. his ex is a sweetheart. I’ve never personally struggled. We’re happy, in love, never fight. I’m so scared he’s going to die in his truck or on his motorcycle or most likely a drink At the bar I think tastes funny and he finishes… and find out later it’s roofied. I don’t know what I’d do without him. As much as I’m outgoing and “could” find someone else I imagine often I wouldn’t even want to try later in life. I guess I feel spoiled in the life I’ve had so far that I’m waiting for the scales to balance and hit me with a heartache to hurt me all at once.

    I also fear raising my daughters to adulthood’s then losing them. That gives me 12 more years to continue my attachment to them give or take.

    Or worse i lose them all.

    I dream of this.
    No logical reason besides I feel lucky now and think some balance will come.

    Dating in my dreams sucks!

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Megan says...

      I also googled this, and I’m glad I found the article, its just been in the last couple months with all this pandemic stuff happening, and him being a few years older I find the more you allow yourself to fully commit to someone else that’s when your fear comes out. My boyfriend is the love of my life and I’m trying my best to deal with it and not to take anything for granted. We are both somewhat healthy also trying to make changes he’s slightly more stubborn (men! Haha) but I too wish to grow old with him and I know not all of us get that opportunity but I’m crossing my fingers that I do. Its comforting to know a lot of others are feeling or have felt this way. I also don’t have any children, didn’t really want them honestly. He had two teens from a previous relational ship so I feel I would be completely alone as my friendship circles have gotten smaller, my family is far away and also small so I’m terrified to end up completely alone at the end of this, everyone else has their lives, their kids, and mine well nothing would be left so I’m struggling with that seriously

  9. Laura Mitchell says...

    One of the greatest blessings of my life is having been lucky enough to found my husband in my late 30s. Brilliant, funny, compassionate and possibly most of all, mad for me, it would make sense that something this good would be something I would fear losing. Now that we’re in our later 60s and I see both of us aging, the thought of his passing terrorizes me much more than the thought of mine. My parents used to say that it was much more loving to wish that you predecease your spouse than the other way around, because the one left behind is the one left with all the pain. I don’t wish either, but I’m aware that I fear losing him more than dying. Part of that is due to dependence on things he can do that I don’t. But the Lion’s Share of my fear is due to the fact that I know that so much joy, when taken away, can only be followed by excruciating pain. But then I remind myself that it’s more than worth it and that above all, to be grateful for everyday that he’s here so that I don’t miss One Glorious Moment.

    • Wayne says...

      Thank you all so much for what you have shared on here. I posted my comment back on November 12th and just came back and read yours as well as Ed’s and I find myself feeling almost the same way and I will try hard to appreciate each and every moment I and my wife can share together. May god bless everyone on here who has taken the time to post something on this sensitive subject!

  10. Ed Pritchett says...

    I am 63 and my wife is 72. I worry about her dying first all the time. I have no other real friends so I try to keep my fear to myself but it is so real. I have even thought about living so that I would die first but I stopped that as I thought that was really selfish. Like most people you put it out of your mind or otherwise I would be in the pit of depression

  11. Wayne says...

    I and my wife are both in our sixties and I have always worried about my wife passing before me since she has had quite a few surgeries over the past 30 plus years for one thing or another! I am a high anxiety type personality and am in counseling for this issue. I am also an only child and have always feared being all alone someday and spending my last years lonely and dying from a broken heart. I came upon this article and found it helpful to not feel so all alone.

  12. Olesha Karringten says...

    I feel this all the time … quite often I tear up or cry just thinking about loosing my partner … he is 10
    Years older than me and he has some
    Minor health concerns … but I just know if he where to
    Die I would die of a broken heart right away ( my grandfather had a stroke on the day my grandmother died … and passed away the day of her funeral).
    I love him so deeply and
    So completely and had wished for
    Love like this for years … my god
    I hope it lasts for a long time
    Because he is the most beautiful kind patient man I have ever known

    • Don S. says...

      Olesha K I felt every word of what you wrote, than you.

  13. Anonymous says...

    I feel exactly the same Joanna. It is absolutely horrible. I am 29 he is 36. We’ve been together for 4 years and getting married June next year. He is absolutely the love of my life and I am his. We are crazy about each other and we love to do EVERYTHING together. We are truly best friends and partners. Always in the same team. I’ve never met anyone like this amazing man and the idea of losing him has me in tears every single night. I get terribly anxiety that something might happen to him during the day when he is out driving. So many accidents in Texas, it scares me so much. I just dream about growing old with him and spending our time together till our last breath. I just have to dream and hope and take care of both of us. I hope we have a family soon too, and also fear that we won’t make it to that if something happens to us. It is a horrible anxiety :( don’t know what to do but I can’t live like that! I’m always sad and worried

    • Sinéad says...

      I got married in February this year. My relationship was great, the wedding planning was easy and the day itself was perfect. Since then, though, I have not been able to shake this increasing anxiety about these exact things that everyone is commenting about. I’m 10 years older than my husband but we are young (28 and 38) and I cry, often, at tiny things because of it. I don’t know at what point to seek help or if it is normal-ish to think like this!

  14. Janette says...

    I have been widowed for a year know, I lost my husband in an accident suddenly, we were together for 35 years, married for 19 . It is a struggle that really no one knows how to deal with because each circumstance is different. To look back and think of everything I have been through, its like “WOW” you draw strength from places you didn’t know you had .
    I have been seeing a friend which my husband and I both knew, he has been very understanding, sincere and so supportive. We have a lot of things in common and have progressed to the point of him telling me he wants to build a future with me. I had to be brutally honest with him and tell him I wanted the same but ( here comes the but) I was scared of going through another loss, I wasn’t sure if I could go through it again, that it might break me!
    He explained that not every day is a given and we should grab those moments, be happy, live life. Yes, this is totally true and one of us could die tomorrow but when you go through a loss it is something that you think of daily.
    I know . like most of the above reply’s , you do worry, but i’m just scared !

  15. Trisha says...

    Matt and i met 12 years ago. We work together as cleaners for his mothers company. We began working side by side 2 months after we met, we also moved in together 1 month after meeting. We are together 24 hours a day, every day. We are both sooo happy. My life b4 him was horrific at best, now, i cannot stop thinking of his death, leaving me alone, or my death leaving him alone. When i say “always together”, i mean ALWAYS. We are together happily, all day,every day.

  16. Crystal says...

    Here I am sitting on a Friday evening, crying what would I do if I lost my husband. He had a heart attack over Memorial Day weekend; this triggered such fear in me of losing him. We have had a great 14 years of marriage – always the little things that mean so very much, and each day after Memorial Day weekend, my tears just flow. I keep saying to myself that we cannot control anything but that our power comes from controlling our reactions. That I should be building more happy times (which we do) but there is that awful sadness in the back of my head. Reading the posts here, thank you for everyone who has contributed; I don’t feel as alone (or that my feelings are obscenely abnormal). Am so very grateful for meeting him and our life. Just so very scared.

    • Trisha says...

      It is so hard. The thought of coming home, seeing his cup in the sink, his sweater on the hook, his towel in the bathroom. As well as all the things u thought you hated, that now would be like mana from heaven.

  17. Randall Webber says...

    I worry constantly about my wife dying. We’ve been married for 46 years and have been together since she was 17 and I was 20. We’ve been through every struggle that a couple can and have come out the other side stronger. I can’t imagine living without her. I too have times when the idea of her death is so powerful that I break down and cry. It’s gotten to the point that I’m afraid to be away from her because I fear that she will fall or something else will happen.

    Thanks for letting me get this out.

  18. Jennifer says...

    My husband and I have been married almost 11 years now. Our marriage began with him being diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully after tumor removal and Chemotherapy he was cured. However, any time he starts not feeling well or has an odd pain or something, I get emotionally upset and worried it will be something bad again and maybe not end up so lucky. It’s like PTSD from what happened early on. I worry I won’t be able to survive if I lost him. We don’t have kids. We even just lost our pet cat recently. I’d be alone. He does so much for us….from little things around the house to managing bigger things. I lived by myself for awhile before I met him, but life is different now. How do you stop worrying about what *might* happen and just enjoy what you have when those scary past experiences resurface in your mind?

  19. Kristen says...

    My husband was previously married. He lost his wife when he was only 30, after three bouts of cancer over a four year period (they were married eight years, so cancer took up half of their time together). It’s strange to be the beneficiary of someone’s tragedy, but he is the biggest blessing to me. And as complicated as it can be to be the second wife (so many big feelings!), I’ve benefited tremendously from the experiences he had in his first marriage. He learned to care for and love her through incredibly difficult circumstances, and that is now directed toward me. It does leave me, though, with a real sense of the possibility that I could lose him at any minute, just as you described. It’s a terrifying thought. Perhaps the only thing that’s more terrifying to me is that I could be the one to go. I feel a heaviness every time I board a plane. “Please don’t let anything happen to me,” I pray. “I couldn’t bear for him to have to be a widower twice over. Don’t make him go through that again.”

    • Nancy says...

      Me too, Kristin. All of it.

  20. Tiffany says...

    I thought I was crazy, its so nice to see I’m the only one who has this fear. My boyfriend and I are young, 18 and 19, weve been together for 5 years, have a dog together and a cat, our place and cars. We do well, but since about 2 years ago, these horrible episodes of me worrying about losing him started. Usually a song would trigger it, or when hed have to work at night outside or drive home in our neighborhood at night. Usually I imagine someone coming to my door saying hes been in a car crash, or someone robbed him at night and killed him. Usually I end up crying, feeling like its real.
    Sometimes he’d even tell me he is convinced he’s going to die young or something is going to happen to him. Hes even mentioned worrying that its going to be a car crash.
    About a month ago, he couldn’t see out of one of his eyes and had severe migraines and couldn’t speak thoroughly, he ended up having hydrocephalus, and had brain surgery to fix it, hes fine now with some strange side effects. But now, I worry even more and the episodes have been more frequent. Hes only 19 and had a disease a baby or 70 year old would have. Im worried his premonitions are right. Why would he feel like he’s going to die young? Why do I have this constant, vibrant fear?
    Am I crazy?

    • Sarah says...

      Oh darling, you aren’t crazy at all. Look for a therapist and talk this over with them, they can help. Going to therapy is the best gift you can give yourself.

    • Selena says...

      Your not crazy I feel the same way and my boyfriend says the exact same thing!!and it drives me crazy..I’m crying while texting this. It’s a very crazy thing to think of but try to live in the moment, you don’t want to waist the time your with him thinking of bad things if it were to happen

    • Trisha says...

      My matty and i are going on 12 yrs. I still have a panic attack when he goes 5 min up the road, and is not back b4 10 min. Im starting to see with this blog, that i am not alone.

  21. Kyle says...

    I felt like I was the only one who felt this way, its comforting to know I’m not alone with this. My Girlfriend and I are both young (She’s 22, and I turn 20 this year) but I’m always afraid about her dying. She was on a call with me when she got into a small accident, all I heard on the phone was a crash and no answer from her. I was inconsolable, crying on the floor until she called saying she was okay. Ever since then, when she goes to work/ back home I’m constantly afraid of her dying. I start to go through the motions and cry for hours. I’ve talked to her about it, but I haven’t told her how bad it is. I don’t know what I would do without her.

  22. Nikki says...

    Oh gosh..so glad i am not alone with these thoughts. What made it worse for me is watching the movie “the secret” and all the law of attraction stuff. Like i am psycho when it comes to my fear of losing my husband..when i have these anxiety attacks which can last a week or a month, my every second thought is about losing him…so i wonder, am i attracting my husbands demise simply by obsessing about it?…he is my everything simply because i truly love him, and never loved anyone before…i was attached yes- but not in love and it scares me because i am so invested in him emotionally. If it were to happen, i know i would die shortly afterward so really i should not stress. Seriously you can die from heartbreak!!

    • Dana says...

      Luckily, the law of attraction hasn’t been scientifically proven yet and has 0 scientific equations. Fortunately in this predicament it is still categorized as a pseudoscience. I don’t believe we attract things like that although I believe something higher is out there. I also used to be an avid follower and practicer of LOA.
      Unfortunately I have the exact same fear as well about my long-term boyfriend. At night time, I’ll have this anxiety imagery of just horrible things go through my head. Like the doctor telling me in the hospital that he didn’t make it after a car wreck etc. To be quite honest I turn over and hug him tighter although it makes me tear up.
      I think the thought is perfectly rational in that we love our partners so much we don’t want to lose them. It’s our normal fear of caring about them on such a deep level that we are coming to the realization of what losses are always possible with our gains.

  23. Alma mills says...

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  24. Carissa says...

    I was in a motor cycle accident when I was 8 years old. My grandmas fiancé died in the accident. I realized how quickly something, or someone can be taken. Ever since then I have always worried about loved ones dying. I used to have nightmares that my mother would get in some terrible accident. Now that I am older, these thoughts revolve more around my fear of my boyfriend dying. We are young. He is 28 years old and neither of us have any major health complications. I have no reason to fear him dying right now. But, the thought crosses my mind so often. I mostly fear that when we are older he will die before me, as he is 9 years older than I am. The thought of losing him will actually make me start to cry. Even though he’s right next to me in bed. I always thought I had some insane, PTSD related, irrational fear but it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who fears these types of things. I try to keep in mind that I have him now. I have to stay in the moment.

  25. Janie says...

    My husband and I have been married 47 years, high school sweethearts. No, it has not been an easy marriage. We were very immature and had a lot of growing up to,do. There are hard feelings even now. But, whoever we needed each other, the other one was there. Two years ago, we found out my husband has cancer, an aggressive one, hard to fight. I felt like my world was out of control. We both went into shock and. I cried until I had no more tears. 6 months of horrible chemo followed. He was so sick I prayed he’s even survived that. He has been in remission for two years now but just recently found a lump on his stomach. We are waiting for the results of the biopsy..
    I always depended on my husband so much. He is still working and probably always will unless he gets sick again. But I took this so hard I had a nervous breakdown. I wa in the hospital feeling like I was having an out of body experience. Life without my husband??? Even though he is still here, working, living his life andvso goodbto me, I still have moments of severe anxiety. I am not close to my family and friends ran for the hills. I felt suicidal, seeing him so sick and having to deal with severe financial problems. I talked to God and Jesus a lot and still do and always will. I look back and see blessings and miracles I never saw before.
    I pray I don’t lose my husband. But I think eventually I could learn to at least breathe until I see him again.

  26. Cap says...

    I use to think what would happen if someone I cared dearly for died. Tried to imagine how I would feel. Then the horrible happened. My brother, who I loved dearly and whom had been my friend and hero died. The pain I imagined wasn’t even close. The lose and pain was 1000 times what I could ever imagine. The only thing that got me through it was my wife being there at my side. I thought nothing could be worse then that pain. AGAIN, I was wrong. My brother died in 2013, in 2016 on a Saturday night I went to see how my wife was doing, as I do quite often, and I found her dead in bed, stiff, gone. I snapped. Was insane, in shock, psychotic for months. Once again, a thousand times more painful then I could ever imagine.
    Now, 7 months after my wife’s death I’m empty, nothing inside me. Can’t imagine ever getting involved with anyone again because I just couldn’t survive another painful loss like this again. Don’t care for life, don’t believe in suicide (I wish I did), just hoping I don’t grow to be old watching all my brothers and sisters die. I’m broken, that’s the best way to put it. Have nothing to offer anyone, relationship wise or friend wise. I plan on living the rest of my life as a hermit, each day hoping I don’t wake up in the morning.
    I’m 54 years old. Was an atheist up until I was 24 years of age, believed in god until about 5 months after this all happened, now I don’t know what I believe in. Only thing I know is I hope I don’t live to be 55.

    • Kelsey says...

      Cap,

      I Googled “fear of losing husband” because I am getting married in August, and it’s a daily fear of mine. I can’t imagine the pain you feel having lived your worst nightmare. I’m 26 and work as a CNA in a hospital; I have seen people in your situation and even listened to sobs as men and women have become widowed. It’s heart wrenching and life changing, a pain I hope I only ever have to imagine, but I beg you to get help. You say you aren’t suicidal, which I’m so thankful for, but please know that your wife wouldn’t have wanted you to become a hermit. “Live a life your wife would have loved to accompany you on.” Beauty exists outside, beyond the depths of despair. You can be happy again, someday. Channel the strength of the love she gave you for so many years, and reach out to a therapist who specializes in grief. You weren’t able to save her life, but you can still save yours.

      Warmly,

      Kelsey

    • Luke says...

      I don’t know your pain but i know pain, inside my body i too have had moments and months of truly not wanting to live. However i recommend reading some work by elkhart tolle, he is a spiritual guy but very honest and in a way confronting. If you are totally shattered i would recommend reading some of his stuff. I must admit i am by no means religious but i know there can be ways out of absolute torment.

  27. Mandy says...

    I am so comforted knowing that so many other people are feeling the things that I feel every day. That being said, I wish that this feeling wouldn’t torment me or anyone else for that matter. I lost my dad when I was 16 years old to cancer. He and my mom had the perfect relationship and it taught me what true love is and what I should look for for my future. I found the love of my life and have married been married for six years now, and we’ve been together for about 11. Shortly after we became serious, I started having these irrational thoughts of him dying and will still find myself crying many times when I’m alone, worrying that he’s not going to make it home. I’ve seen a therapist about it, and she tells me to challenge myself when I have these thoughts and ask how realistic it is that anything will actually go wrong. It hasn’t worked. Of note, I do think that I am a very happy, well-adjusted person with the exception of this one area. The good thing is, I truly believe that I appreciate my husband and love him even more because I have this constant reminder in my head that our relationship might not be permanent. And that anything can happen at any time. So I believe I make a positive out of this feeling by letting it help me appreciate little moments in life, but it still can be agonizing at times. I wish there was a way to find a balance between knowing that life is fragile, but also being able to live life carefree and not waste too much time worrying about things that may never happen.
    The only other thing that I want to say is that I really feel for anybody that is reading this forum and is feeling the same things, because I know how much that feeling sucks and my heart goes out to you.

    • Hi!
      I so understand! I’m 45 and my boyfriend is a young 61..love of my life! Sometimes I lye awake and imagine him gone..I want to just hold him in my arms never let go!! He is my best friend, lover, companion. Sometimes I have those nights when It seems like time just stands still and it feels so good..but the reality is nothing is permenant. Not even us..and it scares the he’ll out of me.

    • Rosalyn Lok says...

      Like you mentioned, I too, am really comforted knowing that I am not alone in feeling like this. I am currently going through this and I can’t seem to find the courage to tell my husband or even close friends and family. The more I am away from him and I am alone in my thoughts is when I find myself thinking about it more, and it continues to sadden my heart. But I really loved reading what you wrote, that it just makes our time together more precious and that we shouldn’t spend our time worrying about things like that. – Thank you for your kind words, Rose.

  28. Lois says...

    I am so grateful to everyone who posted here. I am mid forties and the love of my life is 67. I drive myself crazy with my knowledge that odds on, just because of his age, there will be a huge chunk of my life without him. I have loved him all my adult life. He has in some way been a part of everything I have ever achieved as an adult. He has taught me so much. It knocks me sideways to think of having to live without him. circumstances mean we don’t live together and I can be driving home two minutes after a wonderful time together in floods of tears because I imagine one day being without him. It has definitely become worse after he retired. We went through so many different changes in life particularly job related as that’s how we met, and it seems we are now in the last one now he has retired. The only slight consolation is that I was with him when he went through the unimaginable trauma of losing a Young adult child. He has taught me that you can get through the worst of grief. I’ve seen him do it and I know in death as in life I will follow his example. Yet, I was there for him at that time and I cannot conceive that he will not be there to support me through his death! I thought that I was slightly nuts in my obsession of thinking about this and weeping in anticipation so often and I am very grateful to know that this is normal.

  29. Rachel says...

    I almost said that I couldn’t believe that this post is still getting comments so many years later. But here I am, replying in the same. I’ll randomly find myself imagining that my husband is gone, and I can bring myself to tears so easily in that moment. I think I’ve imagined it so often it’s almost like a memory. It’s horrible. But I’m heartened somewhat to know that I’m not the only one who has these fears. My husband and I fit so well together, we’re so perfect for each other, the thought of him not being here is beyond painful.

  30. I lost my husband to stomach cancer,Oct.9th.
    There are no words for the pain.The images in my head.I have to close my eyes and try and replace them with good images.some times the battle with that is all day.We were married 35 years.I was 17 he was barely 19.I’m sad I’m so sad.We thought we were going to get life extension… I was blessed to have had the years I did with him.Half of me is gone.I sleep with his shirt buttoned around a pillow.My heart pounds so hard at times, that when I am holding the pillow and fill it.I pretend its his heart beating….Love and be kind…count your blessings…and be a blessing to others….live love and share joy while you can..don’t spend your time worrying about what if this happens..take the worry as a reminder and make it a positive….God bless…my husband my eternity

  31. Christina says...

    I can honestly admit I have never been afraid to lose a romantic partner, they are young like me and I don’t worry. The real fears for me are losing the parents and taking for granted their love and support. I`m leaving abroad right now at 26 years old, and father is 62 and mother is 58. Sometimes, I lay awake just hoping they are safe and eating healthy. I am so far away, I can`t jump into a car and drive to them if anything happens. I enjoy living abroad but this anxiety is looming above me, its hard pill to swallow sometimes at night when the real over thinking begins.
    I`ve lost my favorite cat 10 years prior while living abroad, it was a heart break. I can`t imagine how much more painful losing a parent is, I don`t ever want to experience this, but I know its life.

  32. Carrie H. says...

    I am up in the middle of the night suffering from insomnia and anxiety and my fear is exactly the same. My husband is 9 years older than me and will be turning 60 this year. I fear losing him and being alone – we do everything together and he is my best friend. My “normal” mind tells me to stop and just enjoy each day of life because you never know what is going to happen but when anxiety fills my mind I can’t stop thinking about it and the fear is so overwhelming.

    • Peggy says...

      Your post caught my eye as I am 67 and my husband is 77. Health wise nothing is wrong, but I watch him grow older year after year & I am terrified. I can’t imagine being old and alone, and I will also be extremely broke all the time. My son is on drugs and lives in Canada. I also have an anxiety disorder and tend to worry over a lot of stuff anyway. We have had a blast together, traveling around the country and living out west for awhile. You are not alone in your fears.

  33. Terry says...

    me and my wife also met quite late in life and we spend all of our time together. She has no siblings or children and I worry about her being all alone should I die. She is the most wonderful person and does not have any friends or family other than me. It’s kind of the other way around to most people here as I would rather live longer such that she always has one person to be her companion. It worries how she would cope if I wasn’t there.

  34. Lauren says...

    My husband of 9 years has atherosclerosis. Dr’s say we don’t have 5 years left together. He is 34. Everyday I worry if it will be the last. Every holiday is extravagant because we don’t know if it will be the last. I try to mentally prepare myself every day but seem to be doing more harm than good. I love him so much and can’t imagine my life without him. He truly is the air I breathe. We hAve 2 young children. 8 and 2. My husband grew up without his father because of the same disease he has. Its not an irrational fear. It’s gonna happen to me and I don’t know that I will survive without him ?

    • Jackie says...

      I know how you are feeling. My husband has cancer and I’m so scared to be without him. We have a 3 year old and 2 year old and I can’t imagine me doing this by myself. The sad part is that I think of all the little things that matter so much to me. The look we give each other when the kids do something silly or how will We lay on the couch at night after the kids go to bed and watch one of our shows together. It’s an overwhelming sense of loneliness that I can’t seem to shake and he’s still here! I’m trying to get rid of the thoughts but it’s hard. I’m sorry you are going through this as well. Just wanted to let you know there is another person out there with the same struggle.

  35. Loyda says...

    I just met my soulmate. I’m here because I googled “I’m scared my boyfriend will die” just like many of the previous posters probably did. Aren’t we just ridiculous? But I’ve had the thought and even talked to him about it. Just reading this post helps though. Maybe he WILL die a ridiculous sudden death and everything I’ve ever dreamed of will be torn out of my hands… so I’ll cherish and worship each and every instance that I have with him. What is sadder: Finding your missing puzzle piece and being too afraid to hold onto him and then losing him altogether or cherishing him for at least some time?

    But he’s not even dying so…..!

  36. Lilli says...

    I’ve been with my man for almost 2 years now. We live with each other and I tend to stay up later than he does. Every so often, almost every night I’ll look at or touch his stomach to make sure he is breathing. He has no known health issues and I feel paranoid for doing it. . .

    I just realize that anything can happen and, unfortunately, it taunts me.

  37. Sarah says...

    Both my parents died by the time I was 16 (one was sick for a long time and died, the other suddenly in an accident. They were both in their early 40s), as well as 2 of my friends that were my age. I don’t know at this point how many of my friends have died. I’m 28 and I would say at least 20, if not more.

    Another thing is that he is sterile and I am likely sterile. We can’t have kids.

    We also live thousands of miles away from our families, as I have a really serious stalker that lives near all my family.

    I am so afraid that something will happen and I will lose him and be alone forever.

  38. Jessica says...

    I have been married for 11 months and me and my husband have our first child on the way. I worry a lot in general but this is a fear that I have. We are black so with the crime rate black on black or blue on black I get scared sometimes when my husband leaves the door. I know that if I lost him I don’t think that I could go on with my life and I want us to both get old together we are not even thirty but I get scared that one of our lives will be cut short for some reason

  39. Katie says...

    I understand that fear. I have been married a year now. This is my first marriage. We have no children together. I am 38 yrs old he is 34. I am so scared to lose him. He is my whole world. I have thought why i couldn’t have met him sooner. So we could have even longer together. I just love him so much and could not image a life with out him in it.

  40. Jane says...

    I’m so glad I came across this. My 53 year old husband, who everyone admired for being in “great shape,” came within an inch of dying in late Aug. An emergency triple bypass saved his life but I live in constant anxiety and fear. Both his cardiologist and surgeon told me point blank he would live 10 years or less. We married late in life, have no children or family. I am terrified of losing him to a sudden heart attack or worse. I have nightmares. I can relate to L.C. as I, too, feel very alone.

  41. Sevgi says...

    I’m 21 and my girlfriend is 20. We’re young, I know but that doesn’t mean much when it comes to death. She’s the person I’m going to marry and grow old with and I worry I’m gonna lose her someday. She has a terrible headache now and I’m so worried that’s it’s something important cause she says her cerebellum aches! I packed a bag, put all necessary things and money in case we may need to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. I can’t sleep right now. I’m listening her breathe making sure everything’s alright. I don’t think my version of worrying is normal. Scenarios of me losing her play in my mind sometimes out of nowhere and I hear up. Do any of you go this crazy or should I stop worrying about her dying and start worrying about my psychology?

    • Tatjana says...

      Sorry to hear you are worrying. I really struggle with this. I don’t think we can stop the worrying. One reason we worry is because we want some level of control in this life but we soon realize that we have none when it comes to death. I worry so much that I had a breakdown and ended up in the hospital. What did I accomplish? Nothing. Did it help me? No. Am I still struggling? Yes. The only hope and comfort we can find in this physical life is through God. I hope they you can find some comfort also. I wish I could take all your worries away but unfortunately I cannot. Sorry my friend.

    • Pam Maynard says...

      We worry because we can’t control death or how & when it will happen. After witnessing so many deaths including my own Mother 2-28-15 I decided it’s because our brain knows it will eventually happen in fact it deals with it as a yes /no. We outwardly agree with our brain. Its the emotions that cause the ultimate turmoil because of the unknown. ..
      So many people are gone now. I’m really very much alone and understand completely. I was a complete basket case seeing my partner of 23 yrs utter “I love you” before she slipped away and then Mom saying “I feel sorry for you” you will be alone”..before she too lay dying with me holding her hand.. it’s part of the circle of life.

  42. LC says...

    It is so nice to read that others have the same concerns as I do. I met my husband late in life, and he is my everything. My other family has disowned me due to my mother convincing them to do so (but that is for another discussion board) so he is all I have left after my dad died last year. I am terrified of losing him and being all alone. I try not to think about it, I cry every time I do.

  43. Pam Maynard says...

    Six years ago my partner was diagnosed with lung cancer. Stage IV. She decided she would go through Chemotherapy. I promised to be there for her since I’m a nurse. Ok fast forward to the day she died which took ultimately took three day’s. Every year since her death I see those images all over again in my brain! Please tellnme how to make them stop! We were together for 23 years.

  44. Lindsey says...

    I think about losing my fiance a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. I get upset and the more I think about it, the harder I cry. I try so hard to just enjoy spending my life with him, but the thought of losing him always comes around and I end up spoiling my own happiness in the moment. Perhaps I’m too attached, or I have issues with accepting death, but either way it sucks and it’s getting to be a little obsessive. Gahhh make it stop -_-

    • Carrie H. says...

      This sounds exactly like my situation- have you found any peace and if so do you have any advice? Hang in there and try to find joy in every day because we never know what will happen. I try to tell myself that it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

  45. Rose says...

    When I was 16, my dad passed away unexpectedly in a freak accident. Additionally, my brother’s fiance died this year as well. I have found out that likely because of these events, every time my Significant Other jokes about him dying, or I watch a movie where a Significant Other passes away I totally and sometimes irrationally break down. I have panic attacks when things remind me of death, particularly in partners. I have been wondering if it is a symptom of PTSD, or if I have developed a phobia around it but it has become so real and possible in my world that I am so scared that my Significant Other will die!

    • Tatjana says...

      Email me if you want to talk tatjanatesla@hotmail.com. I feel just like you and sometimes it helps to know your not alone. I hope you’re OK.

    • Beautiful soul says...

      I understand exactly how you feel. I lost my dad at 11 due to illness. i grew up watching such a beautiful relationship between my parents. Now that i have found my soul mate its scary to think he may leave me unexpectedly, so much that i get the shakes. So you are not alone in your fear, just cherish each moment…

  46. Emme says...

    My husband has some health issues and I am petrified of losing him. He is the absolute love of my life and I simply cannot imagine my life without him. He is my every thing. I am so fearful.

    • KK says...

      Are you still dealing with this fear, Emme? I am and I feel exactly the same way about my husband. Both my parents are gone, my daughter is about to leave for college, and I can’t imagine why I would want to continue to live if something happened to my soulmate. I am so afraid of that moment — of seeing or hearing that he has died — that I wish I could die now to avoid it.

  47. Susan C. says...

    Yes, it is a struggle to be a worrier. I myself have been one ever since I can remember. After years of worrying and most of the things never coming true, you would think that I would learn not to worry so much and enjoy life more, but sadly that is not the case. Somehow, reading these posts and seeing others have the same big worry I have, makes me feel a little better. Long story short, my boyfriend of 11 years died in an accident in 2013. My boyfriend now is 23 yrs older and I worry alot about him dying. Its very upsetting when the thought pops into my mind. We can only try and cope with the thoughts and enjoy the good times while they last!

  48. Gemma says...

    I am so glad I came across this post. After reading about the devastation of losing a partner I became so worried about losing my own. My husband is 10 years older than me the thought that I would be left here without him (even though I have a wonderful family) is almost unbearable. Simple things like kisses goodnight or shopping for food have become momentous occasions as I try to capture the simple things in life. I try to appreciate every single moment and put the fear to the back of my mind but it’s always there.

  49. I completely understand your fears. I’ve been struggling with fear of losing my fiancé ever since we got engaged. It’s almost like now that I am finally getting my “happily ever after” (I’m 31 and never been married), I’m terrified to lose him. I’ve been praying, trying to relax, and just enjoy every day. Sometimes, I almost fixate though on how devastated I would be if I lost him. I hate feeling this way! It makes me feel comforted that I’m not the only person who has felt this way.

  50. Brandon says...

    Thank you for this post! I thought my worries made me morbid and odd. I’ve been with my husband for ten years. We finally married in August of this year (since it was thankfully legalized). When we got married, though, something changed. Not in a bad way; quite the opposite. I cherish every single moment I have with my husband. We never go to bed angry. I always get my kiss goodnight. He has helped me pick myself up through two major deaths in my family (my mother in 2009 and sister just last month). But once we got married, and especially after losing my sister, I just can’t stop thinking about how if my husbands life ended, so would our marriage, and so would I. I just can’t imagine a life beyond that. I pray I go first when the time comes, but then think he would be even worse off than me.

    I don’t know why this bothers me so much. We have so much to look forward to. We’re a newly married couple with ten years of love behind us and many more ahead. We’re both 30. I know I shouldn’t be thinking about these things, but after seeing how broken my father was after losing my mom and how my sisters husband was when she died, I’ve been filled with fear :(

  51. Derek Darienzo says...

    I too face this struggle every single day of my life. My amazing husband of more than ten years is 21 years my senior. He has been my nearly constant life companion and I the only one he has ever been with in all of his life. And while I would not ever choose differently if I had the choice to make all over again the passing of time has brought this deeply rooted fear fully to the surface in me. I have no greater fear than that of the love of my life facing the passage from this world! I don’t want him to be touched by fear! I can’t bear for him have to go where I can’t follow! I can’t cope with knowing that I can’t be there beside my special guy to face the greatest of unknowns with him. If I cannot go with him I do not want to be here any longer?!

    • Louise says...

      Yes a thousand times, the thought of losing my darling husband slaughters me – it is my very worst fear.

    • Geanea Hall says...

      Omg!! This is what I’ve been struggling with lately! I feel and understand your fear!

    • Tatiana says...

      I feel so much fear helplessness despair at the thought of loosing my husband who is 20 years older. I can’t eat or sleep or even look into my husband’s eyes I’m so paralyzed by fear and anxiety. Love him so much and I feel cursed

    • Tatiana says...

      I feel exactly the same way you do it’s sickening and paralyzing

  52. Oh my goodness! I’m so glad to know I’m not the only I’m 23 and my husband is 32 and I’m constantly scared something is going to happen to him. It doesn’t help that he drives almost 90 miles to work every day and at least once a week I read a news story about some tragedy, bad accident or death, on his route. And if he gets called in on night shift and hasn’t had a chance to sleep, I’m a complete basket-case. Every time I hear about someone young dying, I just cringe and get so upset. I honestly think about it every day. But, like you said, I am better for it in some ways. I ALWAYS get a kiss goodnight because I know if he was taken from me I’d regret not taking that opportunity as often as possible. I also make a point not to argue or fuss in the mornings before he leaves for work. If our last conversation were a fight, I would never forgive myself. I can’t even explain it, but it controls my life to an extent. I can’t enjoy the time we have together for worrying about losing him.

  53. Thank you so much for writing this post. I recently got engaged and I am thrilled as he is the love of my life. However the thought of getting married and building a life together gives me anxiety. Not because I don’t want that but more because I am so afraid of losing it.
    My wonderful fiancé is currently asleep next to me and I was honestly lying in bed wide awake with horrible thoughts of losing him running through my head when I thought to look up this issue on Google and I came across this post. I have been reading through every comment and feel so much better – I am so lucky and I really want to be able to live each day to the fullest with complete appreciation of what I have now. Thank you so much for sharing this!!

    • Geanea Hall says...

      I just recently became engaged in January and that’s been running through my mind, but lately it’s been constant. I decided to Google like you, to see if I’m the only one with this fear. It’s comforting to know in a sense that I’m not the only one who goes through this. I’m glad I found this article and everyone who has responded. It’s very much aporeciated!

    • I completely understand! As a newly engaged woman, I’ve been struggling with the same fears.

  54. I worry about my partner. He has had two strokes in his life, the most recent one was 3 years ago. We have only been together for three months but I love and adore him. It all makes me cherish him even more and I feel so lucky to have him in my life. I’m so glad he is here!

  55. In 2001 my first husband commited suicide, I was 35. A year later I met my second partner Gord who I lost to stomach cancer in 2011. I realize that my life goes on even if my partner has passed away. I still feel a connection to those who I have lost and I gives me the strength to move on. Life is for the living and I choose to be a part of life. It has been extremely difficult moving on, but I try everyday to make life better. I have moved on with a wonderful man who has experienced loss as well. I believe that life is and will always be better shared.

    • A says...

      I just read your post and am amazed of our similar circumstances. My husband committed suicide in 2004,I was 36 at the time. A year later I met a wonderful guy whom I loved very much,sadly in 2013 he died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I can remember at the time of his diagnosis,which was bad, i said to my mum,i cant and don’t know how i will get through this if i do lose him. I lost him to his illness shortly three weeks after diagnosis. I found the strength from somewhere to carry on even though inside i was broken. Nearly two and a half years on its so sad as I feel the pain and anger of why this as happened again and it hampers me to truly move forward. On the outside i look bubbly and happy but inside i am a loss. Lightning can strike twice and i feel so cheated in life. I now sometimes feel angry as the harder i try to make my life better the worse i feel and bigger mess i make it. I have quit jobs over the last eleven years,blown out friends that have proved worthless,all with the excuse that i won’t put up with shite that i can eradicate without pain to myself. Hot headed,angry or stubborn,maybe all three. I feel the biggest loss of all is the placid person i used to be!!! Yes i have had to be strong as you know to well to get through but my innocence,naivety and faith as been shattered along the way. For the last six months i have felt that i would love to meet someone again but am frightened. My social nites out have proved nothing but dissapointment with regards to meeting that someone,now i feel i cant be bothered and maybe i am destined to be alone. I haven’t sat about completely moping i have socialised,visited my cousin in California and recently been to Cornwall with my mum for a holiday. Both of those holidays were not a success for reasons beyond my control. To some looking at my life it looks quite rosy,financially secure with no worries but they don’t see my inner sadness. Of late i feel overwhelmed of my feeling of being a total loss and yet tried so hard to stand up and brush myself down. I know and hope soon things will move on the up and try and believe that. I guess some reading this will see me as drowning in my own pity party but i am trying just to get that break,here’s hoping,tomorrows another day!

  56. Most 21 year old’s don’t think about death. However, since my mother passed away (almost 2 years ago), I always think about my relationships about how my life would be affected if they suddenly died.

    My husband is in the military, so I think about him being killed quite often. Which is scary, but has become normal. It’s even scarier when I think about him dieing not in war, but an everyday activity.

    At the end of the day, we are not promised tomorrow. So love with all you have and make each day the best you can. :) God will call him (and you) home whenever he is ready.

  57. Most 21 year old’s don’t think about death. However, since my mother passed away (almost 2 years ago), I always think about my relationships about how my life would be affected if they suddenly died.

    My husband is in the military, so I think about him being killed quite often. Which is scary, but has become normal. It’s even scarier when I think about him dieing not in war, but an everyday activity.

    At the end of the day, we are not promised tomorrow. So love with all you have and make each day the best you can. :) God will call him (and you) home whenever he is ready.

  58. Thank you for this post. I’ve only been a nurse for about 8 months and I work in the Oncology unit so I see death more frequently than I like sometimes. I’m still in my 20’s but I’m sure I think about death more often than most people my age. I’m scared of losing the love of my life who is also older (14 years). Also our beautiful 6 month kitten died yesterday suddenly. It was traumatic and we were horrifed. She was fighting for her life in the ER but she didn’t make it. I don’t think I’ve never cried so much in my life. BF is heartbroken (it’s his cat and she simply loved him). He made a comment that everything he loves leaves or dies. So I know he thinks about this too. But I know he is grieving as am I. However, if I react to this death so traumatically, I can only imagine what it would be like if it were him. So I understand.

  59. I feel absolutely crazy because I have been digging through so many of your posts today and came across this one. I think this is a normal thought, and I’m so glad you decided to share it. The loved ones surrounding us are what makes our worlds the worlds they are, and our significant others, though not superior to other family members, are who provide us the most comfort. There is a different level of attachment in this kind of relationship, and I think worrying about it only proves how much you love Alex. Thanks for sharing.

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  63. I loved reading this, to know that I’m not alone. Right now I’m not with my boyfriend, he is in New York and I am in Washington right now, I get back on the 11th, but I want to hurry back because I’m so scared that one of us might die before I get to be with him again, silly I know, but I’ve been around a lot of deaths in my 25 years and I just keep on being reminded of how valuable time and life are. We run out of time, that’s just life, so we try to make the most of what we have.

  64. My husband decided to go back home(6 hour drive) this past weekend to spend time with his dying grandmother. I get a distinct feeling when he leaves, I’m feeling it now and I’ve felt it before. It is an empty, lonely, sad, and lost kind of feeling. I think I get this feeling because it makes me realize that his physical presence isn’t permanent and it effects me at my core. I realize how much he means to me and how difficult it would be without him around. I’m not sure what to do with this feeling or what I can learn from it. But, it does feel good to know we all share these feelings.

  65. I actually am going to mortuary school, the more I take psych class’s…the more I think about it and worry. I think about it to the point where I can’t breathe and tears pouring out of my eyes. You think I would be somewhat numb to the idea of death by this point. I am not, I don’t think I ever will be. I do think though, this will be me get a better understanding of how I might help people when I graduate. To get them through those hard times.

  66. I think people don’t understand the definition of love or is that it, a Dog’s(Hachiko) love for his master supersedes the human love. When a person dies does that mean “the love you have for him dies too.” Love for someone is not that different from love for God and since God is not around in human form does that means our love for him too is no more too?

    Love conquers all boundaries, Love can bring down Empires and Kingdoms, Love can bring back dead, Love can even bring down God.

    Love from your heart and i promise you one thing, the one you love will always be with you. Otherwise if you need a physical entity to love its no different from the love that a child has for his/her toys, eventually you grow out of it or loose it or get new toys.

  67. I think people don’t understand the definition of love or is that it, a Dog’s(Hachiko) love for his master supersedes the human love. When a person dies does that mean “the love you have for him dies too.” Love for someone is not that different from love for God and since God is not around in human form does that means our love for him too is no more too?

    Love conquers all boundaries, Love can bring down Empires and Kingdoms, Love can bring back dead, Love can even bring down God.

    Love from your heart and i promise you one thing, the one you love will always be with you. Otherwise if you need a physical entity to love its no different from the love that a child has for his/her toys, eventually you grow out of it or loose it or get new toys.

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  69. Anonymous says...

    Not only did this cross my mind- but it actally occured recently. I met my boyfriend and started dating him right before Christmas. We fell in love very quickly. He had some sort of seizure at the end of April and 7 and a half weeks later he died. I could not revive him using CPR. For some reason I felt that morning that something was “up” I gave him extra hugs and kisses…and tried to figure out why I felt this impending doom. We always felt connected at the soul ever since we met. I even went back to bed for awhile with him- just so we could snuggle and he told me that he wanted that warmth and feeling of love to last forever. Within hours he was in my car and had another seizure. I pulled him from the car and tried CPR on him and he died within minutes. I feel lucky and blessed that I had him for as long as I did. Although, I feel that I may never recover from the loss of my true love. I would not worry about it too much. The reality is that this experience will not happen to most people. Just live your days with your love like it’s your last. Before sleeping, every night I would tell him “Today was a good day, because we had one more day together and I love you.” He always responded with a hug and “Yes, it is a good day, I love you too”. I can tell you that he died happy.

  70. Anonymous says...

    My husband my dear friend of 29 years has been diagnosed with terminal cancer is now in hospital all the time he wanted to take a trip to Florida can’t seem to make it as his pain gets him all the time. So I would suggest love hard love strong and take that extra moment that extra trip skip that day at work. As he has not left me but I know I will feel so lost without my rock my stability my friend my hero my love.

  71. Anonymous says...

    Love this topic. The older I get (Im only 50) the more I worry about this. In fact, I am kind of obsessed about it. I dont really believe in God but every night before we go to bed I pray that he keeps us safe, healthy and alive. My father died unexpectly at age 57when I was 30 and I never got over it. I dont deal with death well at all. I know that if my spouse dies before me I would not be able to function and would have to seriously think about ending it all. Life would not be worth living without him.

    • Lisa says...

      I’m just reading this blog now because I just got engaged. I’m 50 and my fiance is 13 years older. I worry about losing him everyday. I noticed in your comment that you said you couldn’t/wouldn’t live without him and you could get to a point of ending it all. I have thought the same thing. I honestly don’t think I can live with the pain of losing the love of my life.

  72. Death is a very scary and natural thing to think about. In my religion, we believe that families are forever. We get married for all eternity, not just for life, so we can be with our families after death. It is a wonderful blessing to have this knowledge and is a great comfort to me when I find myself thinking about death. You can learn more about my religion at mormon.org

  73. Ah my better half is also thirteen years older than me. I think about it sometimes (he will be 78 when I retire oh my) and I am glad you wrote this. I can’t imagine my life without him.

  74. Anna Vitale says...

    joanna – my boyfriend is 10 years older, and i think about this so often. i didn’t even have to read a book on it to discover this particular collateral worry of being in love! (though i am thankful for your book recommendation and, of course, for this post!)

    perhaps i’m a bit morbid, because i do think of the people closest to me dying. i feel around the spaces i imagine they’d leave in my life – almost as if i’m rehearsing my grief so the real thing doesn’t hurt so terribly. but then i come around and try to love and appreciate them more deeply – for every quirk, good quality, and even the annoying qualities!

    this is the place i’ve gotten to with david. like you said so wonderfully, just trying to enjoy the little (and big) things to their fullest extent.

    i also joke with him about it and say, “baby you’re not allowed to die before me.” he jokes back with, “sweetie that’s why i always carry a gun with a single bullet.”

  75. Anonymous says...

    I thought I was the only one who worried about this! Although I am not married I have been with my boyfriend for 5 1/2 years and a few years back he almost died in an unfortunate incident. From there on whenever I would watch a movie or read a book of a husband or boyfriend dying I would instantly ball my eyes out. It is a worry of mine since it came so close to happening. The thought of losing someone so close to us is a tough think to wrap ones brain around.

  76. It is absolutely normal (at least in my life which is decidedly not normal) to worry about my partner passing.

    I always say to people who ask me what my greatest fear is: the day I have to say goodbye to my best friend. Who just so happens to be my husband, partner in crime and all that jazz.

    I guess I’ll leave the same advice or words of wisdom my friends give me: take care to make memories today so when that time comes it will be easier to remember why you loved them so so much. Enjoy life!

  77. Anonymous says...

    My ex-fiancee died almost four years ago. She was 23 years old and the doctors didn’t figure out that she had stomach cancer until it was entirely too late and had spread throughout her entire body. I miss her terribly some days, but I’ve also found new love. It feels sometimes like I’m living an alternate life… like there were two branches and somehow life picked the harder path. We always expected to have our whole lives together… I wish that I cherished every moment we had.

  78. Anonymous says...

    Great post. I think about that kind of thing happening all the time and can get myself worked up about it too! Have you read Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking?

  79. I absolutely feel like this, and it’s gotten worse since we’ve been engaged. I sometimes have moments of panic and terror where I think about a life without him, and burst into tears (usually while driving, not very safe lol). It just reminds me to savor every moment, let stupid annoyances go, and treat him like the man he is, the love of my life and the meaning for everything I do.

  80. Anonymous says...

    My boyfriend of 9 months passed away 2 weeks ago, suddenly, of a brain aneurysm. It was traumatising and I think of what it would be like to die also, just so I could be with him again. Fortunately, I have a close and supportive network that keeps me grounded and they are always checking on me. It is a horrible experience and the healing process is exhausting. Smiling one moment, weeping the next. I try as much as possible to hold on to the sweet memories, and luckily we had a lot of those . . . therefore I’m able to sleep better at night. We never missed a moment to say ‘I love you’. When he passed, we were at a good place.

  81. v says...

    my boyfriend is in the army and he is due to go to war soon… we’ve spent the last 6 years together.. since i was 18 and the thought of him not coming home scares me so much…. I try to tell my self not to worry and to enjoy all the amazing time we have together before he leaves. :)

  82. I think about this a lot too!

    I’m a bit of a hypochondriac and a few weeks ago I had a slightly troubling symptom surface right before I had an appointment with my GP (luckily). In the few days I had before my appointment I wondered if my symptom could come from something fatal, and for the first time in my life (I’m only 28) I really had a chance to think about getting that kind of diagnosis. Mainly all I could think about is my husband having to lose me, and it really changed the way I was thinking about our relationship and our future together.

    Last Saturday I attended a conference for women where the speaker talked about overcoming difficult and hard situations, in a religious context. He shared his experience suddenly losing his wife to a brain tumor about a year ago. Listening to him really did something to me, that I’m still trying to piece together in my mind. He’s a writer, his name is S. Michael Wilcox, and I’m interested to read his books now. The book you’re reading sounds interesting as well.

    But anyway, I just wanted to share that! You’re not crazy! At least, I don’t think so :)

  83. Kate says...

    I seem to have that Woody Allen-esque obsession with death so I’m basically perpetually thinking about it. But I remember this one time in college, I was with my boyfriend, who was probably the love of my life, and we were walking late at night when he started complaining about a headache and suddenly collapsed. I was beside myself screaming for help but he finally came to and was fine, it was just a freak thing. But it was at that moment that I realized that is what it is to really love someone – the minute you find your happiness you become vulnerable to the loss of that happiness. All we can do is enjoy it while it’s there, I guess.

  84. clara says...

    i just got married a few months ago but i’ve been afraid of losing him since we got together as boyfriend and girlfriend. i’ve always been afraid of losing people i love. my father passed away 17 years ago and i still miss him. my grandparents passed away a little more than a year ago and i still miss them. experiencing death of loved ones makes death more real but it also makes you appreciate everyday you have with the people you love that are still alive.
    i agree… love is such an amazing and powerful thing. it keep even the dead people alive, in our hearts and memories.
    thanks for this post. :)

  85. First, it is definitely normal to feel worried for such thing. It’s abnormal to think about it everyday, but when u do think about it sometimes, it’s totally normal and human to worry.

    It is usually a book or movie or things occur around me that make me think of such thing, and I worry just as you describe, so I totally get it.

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  86. emily says...

    My husband is a whopping 27 years older than me, and I think about losing him an un-natural amount of time, and it completely tears me apart every time i imagine life without him.

  87. Yes, yes, yes. My husband is in the military so I always worry. Even though he doesn’t have a dangerous job I still worry. I know that I wouldn’t be able to live without him. When we do talk about death, I always tell him ” you have to promise not to die first because I couldn’t live without you.”