Selfless Love

Yesterday, I happened upon this video….despite the fact that it was almost 9 minutes long, something compelled me to watch, and I am so glad I did….Take the 8 minutes and 55 seconds to watch…


Here’s a tissue, wipe away the tears and think…is your love that selfless?

This couple is amazing and we need more of this! (I’m not talking specifically about the religious and spiritual aspects of their relationship…though that is pretty amazing as well) I’m talking about unconditional love. Larissa and Ian are the perfect example of what love for our spouse should be.

Would you marry a man with this type of brain injury?  Would you be that loving and selfless? I’m not sure any of us can answer this for sure without being in that situation, but I’m willing to bet that few of us would.

I like to think I would.

As a child, maybe 8 or 9, I remember watching an episode of Phil Donahue (Remember him?!) and one of his guests was a man who had been paralyzed in a sky diving accident (I don’t remember the details exactly, but I think it was a collision with another sky diver) After his accident, his fiancé left him. She didn’t want to marry someone who was “damaged.”   I remember thinking how evil she was. I think I even wrote her a really mean letter (that obviously was never sent) and thinking that I would marry him, because, he was the same person inside. My 8 or 9 year old self was pretty compassionate and wise.

So, would your love be this selfless?

Would you be able to continue to love, when your vision of your life has been turned upside-down, inside out and backwards?

I’ve known women who have left their husbands when they were deployed, sick, or injured. I’ve seen so many marriages fail this year alone. I’ve also seen marriages survive all those things, however, this story is different…this woman CHOSE to MARRY this man, knowing  (and not knowing) what their life would be like. Knowing that while he could communicate with her it was different than it had been. Knowing that they would face struggles unlike those that most couples face (on top of the ones that all couples face) This isn’t a woman who stayed with her husband through an accident, this woman chose to become his wife after his accident.

Thinking back to when Dave was sick (granted, his illness cannot even compare to a traumatic brain injury, and he of course recovered quickly) I loved him more through that illness. He needed me to love him more. We needed to love each other through the sickness. It was scary, it was emotional.

It made me realize that the things I would get mad at him for were so ridiculous. Who cares if he has to change every lightbulb in the house, double check the furnace, water heater, & timers the minute before we leave for vacation (He’s so much like my dad!) It’s no big deal if he eats the last popsicle and puts the empty box back in (leaving me oh, so disappointed when I go looking for a snack) It’s not the end of the world if he does a load of laundry and half of the items end up on the floor next to the washer/dryer (I find one of my socks on the floor every.single.time. lol)

I’d really like to think that our love is this selfless. I know Dave’s is. His father is an incredible role model, and has stood by my mother in-law for over 30 years, through her health issues.

Is your love this selfless?  No judgment if you don’t think you could do what Larissa did. I mean, there are times when it is completely understandable to be “selfish” and like I said, I don’t think there are many people who would be this selfless.

Marriage can be hard, sometimes REALLY hard, but I think we need more selfless love. I think we can all learn a lot from Larissa and Ian.

You can read more about Ian & Larissa here: Pray For Ian


  1. melissa at marching to a different beat says:

    Well I think it is beautiful. I’ve read a lot of blog posts about things like this in recent months, and you are right. I think a lot of people mistake selfless love for never, ever thinking of yourself. Or never doing things for you. And I disagree with that. Loving selflessly has nothing to do with you. It’s about the other person.

    Great post Sarah. Definitely poignant and a good read for me today. :)

    Also? Hello Tangled with those floating lanterns!!! 😉

    • Sarah says:

      First of all YES! The Lanterns!! Amazing!

      I agree with you completely, that selfless love is NOT giving up your identity, or losing yourself, or thinking only about your partner.

  2. Sharon - says:

    This is so lovely that words escape me. As I have aged, I’ve seen many definitions of LOVE – each person thinking their definition is the perfect answer to the many questions that make up personal LOVE. I cannot argue or disagree with any one of them. I just know what my LOVE means and I know that my LOVE for Barry runs so deeply and so wide and so eternally that nothing, nothing, nothing could alter one tiny piece of it. Your post takes us all to those places that make us think in profound depth. Thank you for this, my friend… xo

  3. Stephanie Kay says:

    Wow! Powerful video. One of the most powerful statements I learned early in my marriage (now 16+ years) is “You are not my enemy.” So many times I get focused on what I want and how to get what I want from my husband. It changes everything when I remember he isn’t my enemy, that we are partners on the same team. We just have different perspectives at time. Unselfish love and commitment is unnatural and HARD. But with God’s help all things are possible.

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