The way my husband lived with dying somehow took away all my lifelong fears—all but the fear of his suffering and of his death, and of life without him.
He planned a final family vacation for us during his last season. Short months before his diagnosis he had finally coaxed me onto a plane with our daughters, and I was still white-knuckled with terror of flying. Although he wisely did not forewarn me that each leg of the final family-of-six trip would involve four separate plane rides, I discovered that after four decades I was no longer afraid of flying.
He needed someone to be able to give him subcutaneous injections at home when he no longer could do it, and he needed carefully-mapped sequences of injections through his port. I discovered then that I no longer was afraid of needles. How could I be, after what he had been through?
He needed to know I’d be able to handle the complicated finances for getting four children through college, and I very nearly conquered my fear of his elaborate financial computer system.
He was not afraid of his own death. I never got there, but, as he told me, the two of us are made of different stuff.