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???