Feb 27, 2013

Morbid Mortality and Love

Weathering life's headwinds helps me better live out each day.   

Pigtails spent four days with her mom last weekend, so Curls and I caught the French flick Amour.  Redbox it sometime.  Parts of the film are difficult to watch, my face pulled in pain.  An aged husband empties himself to care for his wife, she's slipping away after a stroke paralyzes.  

This movie articulates two tough points I've thought about for years, but haven't written much on:

I fear growing old more than death.
Love is not an emotion, but doing what's right for the other person, even when we don't feel like it. 

Morbid Mortality
I'm a Christian that believes in life after death.  A thousand angels will sound the trumpet as we feast before the Lamb in heaven.  A new body that never corrupts, reunited with those that slept before us.  Face-to-face with the Trinity, without end.

That all sounds pretty good, so death doesn't make the list of things that worry me.

However, the thought of growing old is terrifying.

Best case scenario is a quickie heart attack, swimming with the fishes, boom, done.
Worst case is a slow mind melt.  Or the body downward aches for a decade.

I told Curls the other day if I ever get to the point as a wrinkled old sack that the mind or body is withering or diapers are involved, I'll go ahead and take up cigars as a hobby to hasten the inevitable.

Doing what I can now to stay healthy (morbidity) for another half-century.  Food and fitness go a long ways here. DNA blackjack's a bigger factor.

Lust is not love, yet society cross contaminates them.

Like aging, love is a bit frightening.

When married, young (21) naive me thought love was a permanent thing, and tied closely to emotion.  After we split, love was confusing, nebulous, artificial.  If it was that easy to stop being loved, then love was fickle and dangerous.  Unsure I've ever really let down my guard since the burn, ask Curls.

It takes a willingness to be vulnerable to truly love and be loved.  I need to be reassured that love is a purposing in the heart to stay true and do what's right for the other, regardless of whether we feel like it.

Please pray for me to finally chip away the wall so I can love with all my heart.



  1. Maybe you don't even need your whole heart. Maybe letting love in will crack it wide open. Praying for the chip, chip, chipping away until the tipping point is reached.

    1. I love this response. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

      Thoughts and prayers for you, Curls and Pigtails, Beard.

  2. Oh, Beard. Will do.

  3. I had to learn vulnerability in love even without having been burnt...and I have to keep relearning it, day after day, in my marriage.

  4. Oh, I hope you scars heal quickly, for both you AND Curls' sake! I feel like while sometimes divorce really is the best answer, a lot of the time, people are too quick to give up. My marriage has been a hot mess at times, but the strength of those vows I took forces me to pick up the oar and start rowing again, even when I feel like just giving up. I'm not even particularly religious, but I made a commitment and I want to honor it. I owe it to my children to work at it. The most satisfying thing is to be able to look back and see how all the adversity has only made us stronger. I think that just as important as love is finding someone who feels the same way about commitment...someone who really believes the saying "when the going gets tough, the tough get going." I hope you find your peace soon.

  5. This is just so honest & raw...I love it.
    I'll be praying for you. God will help you tear that wall down, I know it.

  6. Praying for you to let your guard down ... to let love in. Please don't miss out on a beautiful new love because of past hurt.

  7. I agree with all of your thoughts. I'm praying for you! You need to go out on faith for love too.

  8. Anonymous2/28/2013

    I totally agree with the comments on faith and letting love in. It is so hard to do but in the long run I think it would be harder to live WITHOUT the joys, triumphs, shared sorrows, support, and intimacy that one could have with a committed partner - including the "purposing in the heart to stay true and doing what's right for the other."

    I have a theory that after a marital experience like yours, some may not ever feel truly "ready" to take the plunge again... but hopefully will at some point may feel more hopeful than not about trying. Not to mention that the steps you are already taking (even if they are small) will help you as you gain momentum and build trust. Would that fall under the "God helps those who help themselves" header?

    It's easy to share thoughts and advice with a stranger. I'm 3.5 years post-divorce with a different sort of "burn" of my own. Maybe someday I'll try some of my own medicine; that will be much harder. ;)

    Good luck to all 3 of you.


  9. I'll say a prayer for all that and more.

  10. Beard~l too went through a very painful divorce. Never did l think love could find me, or if l would ever want it too. l spent a lot of time praying and soul searching. I felt that l needed to work on myself and forget sharing a life with anyone but my children. Clearly l never wanted to give my power over to someone and have them abuse it or me. However, a few years later l met someone, he had the same value system as l did, he had respect for my children and myself. All he has ever wanted was to make life better for everyone around him. Next month we are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. I never thought l could be in this place of love and peace. I thank God everyday that he gave me the courage to take a chance and find real love. I will pray for you Beard, and hope you too will take that chance.

  11. Tried to comment earlier; if it's stuck in cyber space & randomly reappears in duplicate, I'm sorry!

    I think it's worth noting that perfect love exists only in Heaven! Also, forgive me if it's presumptuous to suggest, but a friend recently shared with me how much peace & healing she found in the annulment process of the Church.

    Hope it helps! I'll be praying for you. Thanks for your honest & true voice!

    1. Thanks, annulment was taken care of years ago.

  12. Praying for you- unfortunately I think it is quite common for us to put up the barriers when we've been hurt, no matter the circumstances. When it is such a personal and spiritual union such as marriage, I can imagine that result is even more devastating.

    I believe the mere fact that you are open and honest with yourself, and those in your life, about your hangups is a huge step in the right decision. It also seems that you have found someone who is willing to walk that journey with you. THAT, I believe, is half the battle there.

    You and your daughter are in my prayers.

    1. right direction rather. That is what I get for posting late at night when my mind isn't working properly.

  13. Prayers for you guys. Sounds like that chip is hanging by a thread already. Fear is not God's work, but love certainly is... love and faith.

  14. Jeremy3/01/2013

    The timing of your post is amusing to me. Last night I received a phone call telling me that my grandfather probably will not make it through the weekend, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. My grandfather has suffered with Alzheimer’s for the last 5 years and to see an end in sight is just a huge burden lifted. To make his home coming even better, he will get to see his wife of 61 years that went home in October (that should give you hope for marriage and love….61 years!!).

    All of this is to say that I fear getting old as well. Alzheimer’s run rampant in my family and I fear that slow diming of the mind to the point that I forget who I am. I have seen it take so many loved ones down a path that makes me wonder what God’s plan for this fallen world really is. In any event, in the case of my grandfather, death is God’s greatest act of mercy.

    I only share this with you to let you know that you’re not alone, my greatest fear is not the fear of death but everything before it! Ugghhhh….even the thought of getting old scares me. It’s not the age that scares me, it’s everything that comes with it. Thanks for the honesty and know that I will be praying for you, Pigtails and Curls (and Pigtails mom and she deals with all her burdens).

  15. Anonymous3/01/2013

    Joining in prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ for you.

  16. Praying for you, Beard.

  17. Anonymous3/03/2013

    You seem to have it so together in nearly every area of your life; except for moving on from this loss. Having never experienced the end of a marriage it is impossible for me to really understand. But I did experience a terrible loss, as did my mother, when my younger sister tragically died at a young age. Although my mother was hospitalized for a "broken heart" (takotsubo cardiomyopathy) when my sister died, when she was released, she gave me and my siblings the best and hardest gift ever: she moved forward. She showed us there was still joy in life.

    What I have to say may be difficult to hear, and I say it with hesitation, because I can't possibly know what it is like. But I also feel like if you really think about it, maybe it will help you to move forward. And that is: especially because of Curls, and also because of Pigtails, you kind of are making me mad. What does Curl's father think about your relationship? You're a great guy, yes, but I wouldn't want my daughter involved with someone who can't let go of the past and love her like she deserves to be loved. I recently saw this quote and it made me think of how Curls loves you, and how you should love her: “The proof that you love someone is not that you have warm affectionate feelings toward them. The proof is in your actions, your words and your sacrifice, your willingness to give the best of yourself and your willingness to get nothing in return.” Katherine Waldren

    And ... It's never too late to live happily ever after.

    Best wishes to you, Curls, and Pigtails.

    1. You are right, it's a bad thing that I'm not able to ignore the past and move on.

      Curls and I both have some things we need to work on, unrelated to my past, that must come together for us to be a good long-term fit. Her dad has three children in their 30s, none of them ever married, so he probably wants me to get with the program. Until me and Curls are better able to communicate, could be some problems there in the future.

    2. Anonymous3/03/2013

      I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to get so personal. It might be a good idea to delete our posts -- a random blog thought doesn't need to intrude so much on your real life.

    3. You ask good questions, I never delete comments unless they are spam. :-)

    4. I believe much of what Beard struggles with is deeply rooted, long before the divorce unfolded. Divorce was likely the straw that broke the camel's back though. It's tough to "convince" someone not to lose faith in humanity. If you're constantly looking for something wrong, guess what? You'll find it, every single time.


Thanks for the note, check back for my response!