Saturday, September 25, 2010

Did Death Really Part You?

I have never been one to get emotional at weddings. The truth is…I’ve always been the one who comments to my sister about the tacky bridesmaids dresses (I can do that because mine weren’t so great). I’m always the first one at the open bar. And I’m the eagle-eye looking for the first pair of bare feet so that I can take my torturous shoes off too.

I, personally, had a great time at my wedding, but I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was really getting into. I mean…who has any concept of what “forever” means when you’re 20 years old? At that age, “forever” means looking forward to the weekend and the party your neighbor is giving on Friday night.

“Til death do you part” is a huge concept and when you really think about it…it’ll scare the crap out of you. I think that’s why a lot of us get married so young…so we don’t really have it in us to digest this idea yet. Because…if I can be honest…the thought of sitting next to someone with a matching bed pan never entered my mind in my 20s.

My concept of marriage has completely changed, of course, since my husband died. I now know what that actually means and it terrifies me to think about doing it all over again. Now I know that it means sleepless nights while you watch someone you pray is not suffering. It means getting a phone call that in an instant will forever change how you look at the world. It means wondering for the rest of your life…how could this have happened?

Of course…it also means those random acts of happiness. It means looking at someone over breakfast, with their bedhead and bad breath, and knowing you wouldn’t want to be anyplace else. It means changing a 19 inch stranger's diaper (that came from the devil) and looking at your spouse, knowing that these moments are what memories are made of. It means having a 5 minute piece of your life when you feel truly happy.

So now…when I witness a marriage…I cry like a baby.

Every time I see someone getting married (and it doesn’t matter if it’s on Private Practice or in real life), I find myself tearing up and thinking, “Do they know what they’re doing???” “’Til death do you part’…people! That’s no bullshit.”

Or is it?

I guess physically it makes sense. If your spouse dies and you keep them just hanging around your house…well…that’s a new level of Hoarders. And one I think I might skip, thank you very much.

But I have a problem with the two ideas of the “death” and the “parting.”

I know it’s really not up to me to change what people a lot smarter than me wrote on…well…I couldn’t find the Copyright date. I mean, I get what they’re saying…that death may have physically separated us.

But it never parted us. And call me crazy…but it probably never will.

To be honest…I really don’t have a problem with that. Yes, I’ve taken my ring off…but I still feel connected to him. Yes, my life has moved forward…but I think he’s moving with me. And yes…I’ve dated. And when I even think about getting married again…it’s like I’m committing spiritual biligamy.

My husband’s always in my heart, telling me he supports me or sometimes questioning the decisions that I make. Just like when he was here.

The kids and I laugh when we talk about our memories with him and the funny things he did. Just like when he was here.

And I date a lot. Just like when he was here.

(Just kidding. I wanted to make sure you were paying attention.)

The truth is, we never really part from the people who come into our lives…late spouses, bad bosses, friends we always meant to keep in touch with…they’re all a part of us. Just as we will always be a part of them.

The important thing is to embrace it…and them. Acknowledge every experience and every person as a part of us and who we are. Don’t shy away from it. Run toward it all with open arms. Tell that inner part of you that it’s okay…you can move forward without moving away.

But you can still bash the bridesmaids’ dresses. I mean…what was the bride thinking???


  1. This is what I wish EVERYONE in my life understood. Yes, I am remarried and have a new baby. Yes, I am happy. But, I feel like I will always still be his wife too. That's partially why I hyphonated my last name. We were so much a part of each other that he will never be gone. I know what I'm doing he would approve and expect because I know what he is thinking and would want.
    As for weddings, my new husband and I wrote our own vows, for so many reasons. I love everything about marriage, from the mundane to the scary, it makes you who you are as a couple. I too, was married young, at 19. My second wedding was incredible. Don't get me wrong, my first was too, but I was young and broke. This time, I did EXCATLY what I wanted, regardless of what anyone thought and I have to say it was the most beautiful, perfect wedding I could ever imagine. Everyone else thought so too. That's one of the good things, I kept saying " It's so much more fun too plan your wedding as an adult", funny but in my case pretty true.
    Anyway, as always you are so min my head and express exactly what I feel. I just wish society could understand all this.

  2. My husband and I always said our love was for eternity. We were once having a conversation with a friend about the afterlife, and our beliefs. Our friend had recently lost his wife and he was saying that many people tried to comfort him with the fact that his faith let him know he would reunite with his wife in the afterlife. Our friend said he knew that it would be different, that we would all be individual souls under one God, not returning to one partner. My husband said, quite seriously, that he and I were the exception to the rule: that our love was for eternity.

    I have gone to two psychics since my husband passed and had no 'contact'. I was upset at first, but then I drew on my faith. I KNOW that 'death' did not 'part' us. My husband, my prince, is waiting for me and we will soar together again.

    I gave my husbands eulogy. No one thought I would have the strength to do it, but I knew it was the last chance I would have to honor him. In closing I said, "Everywhere we went Tom liked to take the train or the subway, and I always told him I was not a ‘public transportation’ kind of girl. He always wanted to me to be more adventurous. So once when his office moved I surprised him, and just showed up. He loved it. Then they moved again, and I found it again. It became a joke between us – I told him, “I may get lost in a lot of places, but I’ll always find you.”

    Well my darling, I too believe in eternity, and I will find you."

    Death cannot part a love so strong!