“I would die for you.” Supposedly the ultimate expression of devotion. But really, how often is anyone required to give their life in a one-for-one exchange so that another’s may be saved? Does anyone ever actually expect to throw themselves in front of a bullet or runaway car? What exactly have you promised, then? And what of the one you leave behind?

Why not, “I would survive you.” I will be the one to bear the pain of the ultimate loss, even though I myself would rather selfishly slip into oblivion than suffer through a blur of indefinite time, feeling your absence aching like a phantom limb. I can’t think of anything I’d rather avoid more, but if it makes it easier for you, I’ll face it. If I have to be steady and rooted and enduring to give you the peace of mind to let go, then so be it.

Dying is easy. It’s bleak existence that’s hard. I love you enough to stoically endure for you if I have to.