Dear Carolyn: I'm terrified about my boyfriend's hobby: riding motorcycles. We've been together two years and in that time he has crashed twice, the last time totaling his bike. Thankfully, both times he only had minor injuries.
However, he is now looking to buy ANOTHER bike, and every time I imagine him on a motorcycle I just see myself at his funeral. I want to be supportive because I know he loves it, but it causes me so much anxiety.
What can I do? I've talked to him about it, but he gets upset because he feels like I'm not supportive. He doesn't seem to see the risks. He thinks he's immortal. I don't know what to do.
K: Embrace mortality. That’s what you do.
Given your boyfriend’s hobby and history, I suggest soon.
I am not being facetious. At all. In fact, if I thought it would help, I’d close every answer with this: “And oh by the way, if you’re not comfortable yet with the idea of death, then I suggest you work on it.”
There is no permanence. If collecting kitten posters were your boyfriend’s hobby, then the odds would tilt more toward his achieving old age, and — this is the real thing, I believe — you’d be better able to trick yourself into a sense of certainty. Sun will rise, summer will come, boyfriend will return from a run to buy milk.