Yesterday I was faced with another one of those big hurdles for us widowed folk – a wedding. My dear friend married the man of her dreams and began her life as a Mrs.
This wasn’t my ‘first’ wedding as a widow, my best friend got married three week’s after Dan’s death. While I attended that event, wore my bridesmaid dress and managed to stick around until after the formalities before excusing myself and going home to cry, I was still in deep shock at that point and the whole experience seems surreal to me now.
So I guess you could say that yesterday’s wedding was the first that I was really present for.
Leading up to the event I was delighted for my friend. She is a wonderful person, as is her new husband - the type of people that genuinely deserve to find happiness. They have a kind and generous love and an incredible appreciation for each other that very much reminded me of my own relationship with Dan.
I knew it would be challenging to see another couple sharing their special day – so full of hope and potential – but, like many things, the reality was more difficult that I was ready for.
The day was full of moments that made my heart ache. The vows... the exchanging of rings... the speeches... the endless references to living happily ever after. Even just watching all the other coupled-up guests enjoying each other's company, I was not only faced with the constant reminder that my own marriage was so unfairly short-lived, but I missed the person I most wanted to share that day (and every happy day) with.
I watched couples exchanging sweet, intimate smiles as they found their own relevance and meaning in the beauty of the day. I sat as partners danced closely with their significant others. I felt the love in the room and couldn’t stop wishing with every part of my being that my husband was there with me, holding my hand.
I exhausted myself, trying to keep it together, but there were many tears. The friends I sat with knew it was difficult for me and tried to offer comfort but I didn't want people to know much I was hurting.
I especially didn’t want the bride to see my pain – I was mortified at the thought of taking anything away from her beautiful day even though I knew, of course, that she would understand.
It’s important to note that there were also a lot of good things about the wedding. I had moments of really enjoying myself, I laughed with my friends and was filled with love and happiness for the beautiful couple. I just wish so much that Dan had of been there too. I think he would have had a nice time and made friends with the new partners who have come in to our group since he passed.
All day, despite trying so hard to fight it, I kept thinking: I can't believe we only got six weeks of our ‘happily every after’, it sucks so damn much. I guess that will never NOT suck. It will always be shit and unfair and painful as hell. Hopefully just not as often.