(Originally written 5/15/2015)
For years, my worst fear was that Chris would die. This was the thing which I believed, if it happened, would be so bad that I would not be able to live without him. I just knew in my heart of hearts that I would surely die if he died before me.
When Chris and I started dating, he didn't routinely wear a seatbelt. In my 17-year-old wisdom and sass, I told him that wasn't acceptable and started hounding him about it. I wouldn't be able to handle it if he died in a car accident (because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt)! He started to wear one every time he was in a moving car after that.
At 20, when we were first married, Chris worked long hours outside in the sun as a landscaper. He didn't like to wear sunscreen because he felt like it made his acne worse. In my love and concern for his safety, I got him to wear it most of the time during that job. I told him that if he died of skin cancer what would I do? I needed him safe and alive.
In late 2012, I pestered Chris until he made an appointment to be seen for a cyst he had. I felt that he was at risk for infection and I impressed upon him that I couldn't have him die of sepsis. I wouldn't be able to live through that! Poor guy, he had to have it removed 3 times over the next year. He finally went to a general surgeon and experienced a ton of pain with it the last time it was removed.
I loved him so much and did all that I could to protect him, even when it meant being pushy and annoying. He knew that it was all from a place of love. I did and said these things for Chris, but also very much for me.
In the end, none of my "precautions" saved Chris from an early death. I was thankful to know, however, that at the time of his death he was buckled in his seatbelt. This spared me from being angry with my dead husband.
My thought for years was always, "if Chris dies, I will kill myself." I never knew that after having been loved by him, I would be able to live without him... yet I am. Thankfully in 2010 God healed my depression. In 2013 Abbi was born and when Chris died I was pregnant with Aurora. God ordained these things to happen in this way so that when my worst fear came to fruition, I did not feel a need to embrace death.
I miss Chris so much and I want to be with him but I also want to be here with my children. I want to be here serving the purpose the Lord has for me: caring for new moms and babies at the hospital, mentoring other widows, loving those I come into contact with in my community. God has given me the grace and strength that I choose life on earth for now. I want to live my life here until the day Jesus takes the breath from my lungs for the last time... when He calls me to Himself.
Think about your life and the worst scenario you can imagine. If this happens, then what? If this happens, then God is still God, He is still good, and His love for you remains. That is what we call "hope".
(Chris and Abbi, May 2013)