A fellow widow asked if weddings would always be hard for us to go to and I found myself looking back to the first wedding I attended after Tony died.
It was an out-of-town wedding that took place 6 weeks after he passed. Six weeks felt so far away when I was on day 3. I remember checking with his cousin to see if he still wanted us to come. I did not want the wedding to become about Tony’s death and was worried if I came it would change the narrative of his wedding. Even days out, I fretted about how Tony’s death would impact others lived experiences. I am not always great at putting my own lived experience first.
I packed myself and the kids for 5 days. Caravanned to the destination almost 10 hours away. Stayed in a rental house with Tony’s family. The destination was also the last place Tony and I took our kids on vacation, so it was full of memories and reminders of our before. One of the days we were there I took some time alone with the kids to visit the places we’d gone together.
Looking back on it, I am in awe that I did all of that. At that time, I was journalling regularly and looking back at what I wrote I can feel myself in that time.
The ceremony was sweet. The groom cried as he read his vows. And I cried the whole time. Mourning Tony, mourning young love, mourning the chance to grow old with my husband. But even though I am sad and grieving, I still have so much love for the bride and groom. I am still happy for them.
Those 6 weeks equated to 43 days. Sitting now, at 832 days out I realize what a blip in time that was. I am truly amazed that I attended this wedding.
Back to the question if weddings will always be hard. I don’t know. On one hand, I think watching young love up close might always be hard. It reminds me of what I had and lost too soon. But while it’s hard to watch, I wouldn’t miss watching it for the world. On the other hand, if one of my widow friends finds someone to share their life with, I cannot imagine being anything but exceedingly happy for them. So maybe weddings won’t always be hard. Maybe as widows, we have a different window into the world because we know how much the heart can hold.