A Wedding Isn't Always Sunshine and Unicorns

When I saw this post on A Practical Wedding today, I felt like someone knocked the air out of me.  Not only could I completely relate, but I wished someone would have discussed such a question on this topic while I was planning.  I'm always at odds on how much is too much to be shared on the internet, but I would like to share my experience if it will help someone out there.

My mom passed away four months before my wedding, and it was the saddest, most painful experiences I've gone through yet.  What made it worse, was that I was in the middle of planning what was supposed to be "the happiest day of my life."  I went through a mixture of emotions:  saddness (the most obvious), anger that my family was having to go through this after we had been through so much with her illness, guilt for not moving my wedding date up so she could be there, when she wanted to be there so badly, numbness when I couldn't feel any worse.  After all that, I really thought there was no way a wedding would suddenly clear everything away with one sweep and transform one day into a joyous occassion.
In the weeks leading up to our wedding my emotional well-being continued to decline.  I wept frequently- while I opened rsvps from people my mom was looking forward to seeing at the wedding, at the bridal shower she was supposed to attend, as I printed our programs-noting her name under "those who have gone before us".  In addition to the emotional drama I was going through, I had put off a number of key projects until the last minute (= little sleep) which amounted to me being a huge ball of stress on the day before our wedding.  At our rehearsal, there were several moments when I almost lost it- seeing my MIL wear pink in honor of my mom (her favorite color), when my dad gave me away "on behalf of" my mom, the strong feeling that there was something missing.
Finally, after the day arrived that I had both longed for and dreaded, and I was standing next to Mr. Beagle, my husband, all seemed right (or as right as it could have been) in my heart again.  Our loved ones surrounded us, my father was genuinely smiling a smile that I had not seen in a long while, and for one day, the cloudy sky broke open for a ray of sun to shine on us.  As Meg so elliquently wrote, "..I really believe that weddings are about hope..".  They really, really are.  In a way, I wonder if experiencing our wedding after my mom's death was life's way of letting us know that.  It was in no way as good as it would have been with her present, but it was the best day it could have been without her.

Life happens and it isn't always pretty.  Sometimes it's hard to see or believe that, when, like me (blogger/internet junkie), you're surrounded by gorgeous images from picture-perfect weddings.  Just know that you're not alone if you're going through something similar or have already been down that road.  On that note, I'll leave you with this quote Meg left on her blog:

"Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, the loss of a job... And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another - that is surely the basic instinct... Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is." - Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson

No comments:

Post a Comment