Thursday, 29 November 2012
Where will you be ten years from now? At this point in time, you probably have a general idea of where you want to be, but because of life’s unexpected twists, turns, and curve balls, it is impossible to plan out every detail of your future life this far in advance. Bethany and Ryan were a couple of 24 year olds who were young and in love, and they planned to have a bright future together. Little did they know that Ryan’s health would cause their future plans to change dramatically.
Bethany and Ryan met while they were freshmen at the University of Oregon. They were very much in love right from the start, and after they graduated from college, they both acquired jobs, moved in together, and even adopted their own cat. Although they were not yet engaged, they knew that an engagement – and ultimately a marriage – was in their future.
Unfortunately, Ryan was diagnosed with stage four testicular cancer. Initially, there was hope that Ryan’s cancer treatments could be effective in helping him overcome the cancer, and Ryan tried to resume his normal daily activities/schedule. He decided to propose to Bethany, and five months later, when they learned that Ryan’s condition was getting worse and he did not have long to live, Ryan and Bethany, with help from their family and friends, planned their entire wedding in three days and weremarried in December 2011.
Ryan and Bethany knew that their time together was limited, so they spent every day in each other’s company, enjoying the happiness of their marriage. They were married only six weeks before Ryan passed away. Bethany said that although Ryan’s passing filled her with sadness, she is thankful that she found true love in her lifetime. Their marriage was short lived because of Ryan’s cancer, but Bethany said they made memories that can never be taken away from them.
I very much admire Ryan for his strength in fighting his cancer and Bethany for standing by his side through it all, and I am happy that they got to share a beautiful wedding day together. Sadly, in many cases like this where one person is diagnosed with a terminal condition, I have heard of examples of significant others breaking off their relationships as a means of emotionally distancing themselves before the person who is terminally ill passes away. They believe that by doing so, that they will not be as hurt when the person is gone.
Not only do actions like this emotionally hurt the person with the condition, who is already suffering an immeasurable amount of physical pain, but many times abandoning the relationship also leaves the significant other with a sense of guilt after the person who is ill has passed away: if your relationship is otherwise going well, why leave somebody when that person needs your love and support the most?
In your opinion, is it a good idea to get/stay involved in a relationship with a person who is suffering from a terminal condition? If you were not yet married but planned to marry some day and your significant other only had a few months to live, would you marry that person?