Thursday, September 29, 2011

Today would have been our 14th wedding anniversary.

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Fourteen years ago, I awoke in my childhood bedroom … well got up anyway … I was too excited to sleep much.
My bridesmaid, my Mum and I quickly ate breakfast and took ourselves down to the salon for 'hair and makeup'.
We emerged hours later, coiffed and painted, but still recognisable.
Everyone ate lunch … not me … I couldn’t eat for the excitement.
Then I put on my beautiful dress, remade from the Guipure lace from my mother’s gown.
I looked beautiful.
More than that.
I glowed.
Lit from the inside.
The flowers arrived.
The photographer arrived.

Then we left for the church in a pair of 1970s vintage Holdens.
Dad walked me up the aisle.
Greg was crying: I avoided looking at him so I wouldn’t cry too.
We promised to love each other until death parted us, (never thinking that death would part us after only 12 and a half years).
I felt so loved and lucky that my face ached from the smiling.
and the kissing.
and the loving gazes into his beautiful blue eyes.
I glided through the reception – everything was perfect.
and we left our friends and family at the party to have our own celebration of our first night as man and wife.
Today would have been our 14th anniversary.
and it’s been just over 18 months since Greg died.
I awoke to the screeching of the car alarm of the bogan who lives across the street.
...well, not so much "awoke as "got up anyway". Sleep isn’t so easy for me these days…
I couldn’t open my eyes.
It seems I have conjunctivitis to add to my already long list of symptoms typical of my “holiday illness” (I never get sick during work time, just holiday time).
It seems appropriate that my eyes are already red and puffy.
I had a shower and prised open my red, oogy eyes.
I put on track pants and one of Greg’s old shirts: nobody was going to see me today.
I didn’t bother to do my hair.
but I did brush my teeth.
I look like crap.
I ate breakfast so I could swallow some cold and flu tablets.
…and I sent my mother out to buy my eye drops to fix my oogy eyes.
Somehow, this seems an appropriate way to mark this day.
….the second of many lonely wedding anniversaries….


  1. A - So lovely to hear of your wedding day and your absolute bliss. So sorry you are here. I am also at 19 months (today actually) and I am catching every virus that floats my way as well. Some day we will be strong and healthy again. Right now we are weakened by the tragedy of our losses. Hugs to you A on this, your wedding day. So glad your mum is with you. - Dorthea

  2. I've had 2 anniversaires alone and you summed it up perfectly. What do we do about our annniversary? It is such an occassion meant just for the couple and now half of us is not there. Each time I reminised about our wedding day, over and over. I can remember every detail and it gives me that warm sensation in my chest and stomach. I had the love of my life and now his memories are cemented in my heart. Our 30th is coming up in 2 months. I just made plans to go to NY to see a show, shop, have a nice dinner. This year I'm celebrating our day as we would have as a couple. It's my anniversary gift to myself.

  3. I know how you feel. What am I going to do for my wedding anniversary? It is coming soon. My son and I went to his grave yesterday and asked for a sign that it was okay for us to move to another state and promised to come visit often and the sign came my husband wanted to be a pilot and over our heads a small plane flew over. I wasn't scared but my son was. I just said "we asked for a sign and he approves ".So I think we are moving.

  4. I will say Happy Anniversary, and I hope it is not inappropriate. It's a celebration of your love and the years you had together. I just got through my 2nd one alone a few weeks ago. Last year, I didn't know what to do. This year I didn't do much, but I bought a cake and a bouquet of flowers for us, and after dinner I had some cake and toasted my beloved husband, our years together, and our happiness. I am keeping him with me in spirit. I feel so much like he is still with me, and I am hoping to think of some meaningful rituals for anniversaries, his birthday, and holidays, to always remember and respect his presence in my life, from the beginning, to now, to eternity. Blessings to you.

  5. I faced my first anniversary alone just last july, and I was pretty scared about it, so I got proactive. I first of all got a tattoo- ironically that was the next available appointment. My tattoo symbolizes the season I'm in: just me and God. Then I made a movie and dinner date with a girl friend. I call it proactive distraction. It didn't take away the pain, but it lessened the sting. Doing the same thing for the first anniversary of his death- skipping town and heading to the carribbean. Its giving me something to look forward to instead of dreading, that's what the tattoo did! -Jenn,

  6. To Jennifer Gail, how refreshing to read something so positive, and even reading the word "proactive" gives me inspiration. My hat is off to you. Thanks so much for putting some optimism and hope into my life!!!

  7. Today is my 40th wedding anniversary. My parents didn't get to celebrate their 40th anniversary, but they married late in life. I, on the other hand was married at 17, my husband was 18. He died 5 years ago. I never imagined that we wouldn't make it to our Ruby anniversary. I still don't know how to treat anniversaries,

    1. Anniversaries are so hard, especially landmark ones like your 40th. It seems to me that we each acknowledge our anniversaries in our own way...some celebrate with their children; some buy themselves a gift; some quietly pass the day alone; other prefer company. Whatever helps you get through the day, and also honor the love you have for your spouse and the years you had together is what you should do. Just know you aren't alone in trying to figure out exactly how to do that.