Monday, April 6, 2015

Risky Business

As a funeral director, I often point out to people, when they are taking undue risk with their lives. Generally, I will walk up to them and hand them my business card. I will ask them to put my card in their purse or wallet, as I am sure they will need my services in their very near future. Until this week, however, I had never thought about what I would do if I, or a member of my family, were ever involved in such risky business?

Last week, my husband was involved in an incident that had the potential to be fatal. The news of the incident came by phone. I don’t mind telling you, although I was assured that he was without injury; the fact that the incident had occurred was devastating. My knees went weak, my breathing became uncontrollable, and I had difficulties processing the information. I was as nervous as a cat, until he was back home, healthy and beside me.

Of course, such a serious incident is cause for reflection. Was the activity he was involved in, so important that he should continue his participation? Does this activity bring such joy that the risk factors make it worthwhile? Is the vast investment into this activity reason enough to continue with it, or might we be able to reclaim our money without too great a loss? Would my husband be willing to forgo this activity, or would it break his spirit to give it up?

Although these questions are reasonable, they do not address the emotions that plagued me after receiving the news that my husband had been fairly close to a situation that could have potentially caused his death. I have battled with myself all week over it. My husband has participated in this activity for nearly half of his life, and although this has not been the first incident to cause alarm, it has been the most serious. This past week he finally achieved his long time goal of acquiring his dream equipment. I was so happy for him, happy for us actually. Meeting a twenty-five year goal is reason to celebrate; potentially losing your husband is not.

My husband is a reasonable and extremely cautious man, so his activities in this sport have never caused me great concern. Last week, however, has changed that for me. My concern is now high on the rector scale, and so I must determine, is it just because he came so close to meeting death straight in the face, or is it time to reevaluate our participation in what we love so much.

Fortunately, my husband has taken care of the situation. Before he was home, he announced he would be selling his dream. You see, the activity in which we participate is uncommonly safe, and our participation in it is recreational. The new piece of equipment, however, is designed for sport rather than recreation and there in lies the issue. Even though this sweet piece of equipment was a lifelong dream, my husband realized immediately that it was not designed for our needs. He therefore promptly decided to sell it and get something a little more conservative.

Statistically, participation in this activity is safer than driving a car, the situation, however, runs in close comparison to that of speed racing. When a teenager first gets his driver’s license, a fast, slick racing car may be his dream. Notwithstanding, granny’s old Buick may be the safer choice for him. Thankfully, my husband understands the difference between a fun and recreational activity from that of taking a great risk and thrill seeking. A parent would not deny their child the skill and indeed the necessity of driving, due to fear of a deadly automobile accident. A prudent parent, however, might limit the vehicle in which their child drives to one that is safer and does not encourage drag racing at the speedway.

And so, my husband has made the heartbreaking realization that his long desired goal was not as he had anticipated for all of these years. On his own, and without encouragement from his wife, he logically and rationally determined, as is his nature, that discretion is the better part of valor.

I thank God for giving me such a courageous and honorable man to marry and with whom to grow old. I count my blessings in my daily prayers for his goodness and fortitude in serving me, our children, and his country so honorably.

I gave great thought this last week to how devastating and pathetic my life would be without my husband by my side. The bleakness of my reflections has given me new insights into the inward hopelessness, expressed by many widows who pass through my funeral home, upon the loss of their lifelong and eternal love. I don’t know, maybe my Savior thought I just needed to understand more intently the devastation the loss of one’s husband brings into one’s life.

At any rate, I give thanks my husband suffered a small scrape on one of his knuckles rather than the loss of his life. Likewise, thanks that we have been blessed to continue our journey together through this life as husband and wife, until some future, and I hope, far off date. He is my life, my eternal companion, and my one true love. Eternity holds no value for me without him forever by my side.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and professional speaker. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

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