I have to live in such a way that those we care about are happy enough. They won't be happy enough if they are too worried about losing me. I can't tell them 'I love you,' because it sounds like goodbye. I can't stay away too long because of their fear that I won't return.
That is what life is. That is how to live. Live so those you love won't know what it's like to lose you.
When you died, I stopped fearing my own death. I don't wonder what will happen, where I will go, how it will be. You are there. You're gone. You know. I know that even if I die in pain, it won't last forever. What I fear is what it will do to those I leave behind. If I am old and wrinkled, having lived my life, simple and dull as it is, then I won't fear. I will know that those I left behind knew I lived to make them happy enough. My fear is that I won't reach old age, and that I will leave behind broken pieces of loved ones holding on to trinkets of memories. Clutching to items that I had forgotten in life, but gives them a chance to think of me and say, "She loved this," or buying gifts I will never see just so they can smile and say, "She would have loved this."
That I will have made their fears come true.
Because I know what it's like to live without you.