This morning my husband and I talked openly for the first time about the fact I will, in all probability, die before him. Maybe not this year or next, but sometime.It was an immensely liberating conversation.
I was so glad when he admitted that he has thought about the practical implications - getting rid of my stuff, having to move to a smaller property in our retirement village, having a much reduced income and how he will fill his time. (It was a bit shocking that he sees a sports car as a valid replacement...)
None of us looks forward to death with enthusiasm. I certainly fear the process, although actually being dead is ok I suppose. I have children who will miss me, just as I miss my mother who died of OC 36 years ago, but I have always thought that children should recognise and rejoice if their parents predecease them. I accepted some years ago that I am unlikely to see my grandchildren grow up, which is sad.
I am speaking as a nearly 70 year old. I know that the situation is very different for younger women, and would not suggest they should share my feelings. However, I do feel that acceptance of the inevitable and openness with loved ones can be liberating. My morning conversation has lightened my heart, as I no longer need to worry that he hasn't taken the possible reality of the situation on board, and can therefore be more honest with him.