My wedding day was thirty-seven years ago today. It’s the day so many young girls spend hours dreaming of. June 10th has been such a bittersweet day for me since I lost my husband, Brian, on March 10th, 2003. We never even got to celebrate our 25th anniversary, as Brian died exactly three months before we would have reached that milestone.
When I think back on my dreamy wedding planning as a child, I realize that all those daydream-y hours really had absolutely nothing to do with settling down with a life partner. The music, the flowers, the reception were all immaterial in comparison to the actual marriage. I’m glad that I wasn’t one of those Bridezillas who spent more time planning a couple hours of wedding vs. planning a lifetime with Brian. Maybe somehow I knew that we wouldn’t have all the time in the world, so I am glad that I had my priorities straight from the get-go.
Yesterday, I was surprised that I didn’t remember how many years Brian and I would have been married this year. The healing process continues to this day, and the fact that I had forgotten how many years we would have been married didn’t throw me at all. It means that I am remembering the good times, not mourning on the anniversary days.
As Sheryl Sandberg recently posted on Facebook, after suddenly losing her husband, “I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or, you can try to find meaning.”
It took me a lot of years, but her words finally ring true. There was meaning in my life with Brian, and even though he is gone, he is still in my heart, and more importantly, in the faces and memories of my daughters. So, today, as I remember, with a smile and a tear or two, make sure you give your loved ones who are still here the biggest hug ever. You just never know…