Some Thing Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and I’m Blue

Last weekend I was at a close friends wedding. I loved the people, the venue and the time away from my regular hectic schedule. On a beautiful hill at a colonial inn in rural New Hampshire, we all gathered under three towering maple trees to watch two friends join together.

 

I was in the wedding party. We had rehearsed the walk through the perfectly manicure grass to the shady cathedral. I was really proud of myself for honoring my feelings of grief but maintaining composure. I was being true to myself and I was ok at a wedding. I overheard my friend saying that a group of pictures by the reception were of those people he had lost and wanted to remember. I knew that he was going to have a photo of Tin on that table and I was honored. No matter what, I knew Tin was going to be there with us. I walked over to see what photo he had chosen from the 4 years he had know Tin. Would it be one of Tin’s goofy looks? Would it be Tin and our dog Roan? I was secure and confident I could look at whatever photo he had chosen, I could cherish that moment again and I could go on with our celebration. Good job Bryan. Good job.

 

The wedding was about to start and I made my way over to line up and there it was. My friend had chosen the first time he had ever met Tin and took a photo. I fully understood why he chose that photo but he did not understand what that photo would mean for me. You see, he had chosen a photo from that first meeting that had Tin and I in it and there I was on the table of “we wish you were here” except for the fact that I was there. There is no other way to symbolize the part of me that died when Tin died than choosing that photo. The emotions hit hard and strong but I kept it together (for the most part.) People in the wedding party saw the photo and, knowing the story, consoled me as we stood and waited to walk down that grassy isle. I appreciate the care but what they didn’t understand was what that photo would mean for the rest of the night. I mean how could they get it? Unless you’re a widow than you can’t really think like one of us…

 

I was the only living person in all of those photos. I was the living person that was going to hold the weight of that table. The sorrow. The pity. It came out in looks, comments and “I’m so sorry” hugs. I appreciated the support but it wasn’t my day. I wanted that love to all be directed to my friends. I didn’t want to be that guy at the wedding. The widow. The lonely. The opposite of celebration. So I stood strong and danced for joy at the reception. I do admit I left the reception once when they called all the people in love to the dance floor. I could tolerate being there with the song but I’d stick out like a sore thumb as the lonely gay widow sitting by himself but who am I kidding? No matter how hard I try, I am that guy…


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  • Beth Ensign
    commented 2019-08-19 20:02:02 -0700
    I’ve only been to one wedding since losing my husband: the wedding of a nephew, which my husband and I had been particularly looking forward to attending. It was so hard! I felt so alone, and old, and — redundant. But I tried to enjoy watching the younger generation enjoying themselves, tried to be present. The event was at a winery, and all the guests rode buses to the venue. When I was riding back to the hotel, sitting alone, feeling so unutterably sad, I could feel how it WOULD have felt if my husband had been present: his arm over my shoulder, so I could rest my head on his. It was ALMOST as if he were there. But of course he was only there in my mind.

    That nephew’s younger brother marries this coming summer. By then there will be a baby with the first couple. I am not sure I have the fortitude to make it to this next one!
  • Simon Edwards
    commented 2019-08-12 12:02:58 -0700
    Thank you for sharing that. It helps a lot. I recently went to a wedding. It was tough when the dances we going and ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran came on. I lost my wife of 30 years after a long battle with a rare cancer. We had a lot of time to prepare, traveled widely and made tons of memory. I miss her every day. I’m doing pretty well, but some days are hard. Thank you again.
  • Mari Posa
    commented 2019-08-10 23:44:57 -0700
    I am proud that you stood strong and danced for joy at the reception. That’s not an easy thing to do, but you did it! #strongmoment