Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mourning the Wedding I didn't have.

Today I woke up crying.

It was a cry I needed to have. One I've been expecting for the past month and a half, and honestly one that my mother is surprised hasn't come sooner. I was mourning the fact that I missed my own wedding.

Oh, I was there. You've all seen the photos. And I experienced the most important bits - Nathan in his tux, Nathan watching me walk down the Aisle, the Ceremony, the Kiss.

And we have beautiful pictures and amazing video that I am so thankful for. So many family and friends have told us that it was an amazing wedding, they had so much fun, it was all so beautiful, they cried during the ceremony, the speeches were fantastic, etc, etc.

I'm so thankful for all of that. Truly. When I woke up from my migraine I spent probably an hour just lying there thinking of all that I was thankful for. All of the amazing people God put into my life who made it all happen.

But today I woke up from a dream that made me realize what I haven't been facing - that I did miss a lot of things that were really important to me and I needed to mourn for them. I missed getting photos with my grandparents and brother. I missed getting photos with my bridesmaids. I missed singing the hymns that Nathan and I picked for the ceremony. I missed getting to hug and greet all of my loved ones who came. I missed getting to celebrate with everyone. I missed my first dance with my husband. I missed my father/daughter dance. And I can never get that back.

Don't get me wrong. I would do it over again that way in a heartbeat to marry Nathan. But going through the photos and picking which ones to print and which ones to share... it's reminded me again of what I've missed - of the photos and memories I'll never have. The reception was gorgeous - but I wasn't there. The conversation was wonderful - but I didn't hear it. I'm not bemoaning a wedding not going exactly to plan - I'm mourning the memories I lost.

I haven't wanted to mourn this because I've wanted to hold on to the good stuff. I've felt that shedding even one tear negates all of the blessings of that day. And it would if I was only sad, going forwards. However I won't be - I'll be thankful and grateful... but I have to work through this first. I have to get to a point where I can go to someone else's wedding and not feel cheated out of my own. Because celebrating a wedding should be joyful, and not mourning my own loss.

I wasn't sure if I should write this post. Would it come off as complaining? Would it be depressing? I came to the conclusion that it was an important thing to share. It's an important part of my life right now, and I think it's important to be clear that my life has it's hard points, so that you understand why I treasure the good ones so much.

And, well, I know I'm not the only Bride ever to go through something like this. Fellow bride, if you're reading this and you didn't get those memories you so wished for... know that you're not alone. Share your thoughts, how you processed. It's a loss like no other, because what can you really compare it to?

For those of you who are now worried about me... yes, I would appreciate your prayers as this will take time to process and I really DO want to process it and not turn bitter. I was very blessed today that my tears came before my husband left for work, and he was very understanding and comforting.


Matthew Bowman said...

As I told you that day, there wasn't one thing you could have done to make that day any more perfect. :)

But no, shedding tears over it does NOT in any way diminish that day! You're not mourning the wedding you didn't have. You're acknowledging that you didn't have the wedding you expected. And yet you had an amazingly beautiful wedding in spite of, in outright DEFIANCE of, all the problems you faced.

Anonymous said...

I think most brides have something that they wish could have happened differently on their wedding day. I know I have some regrets. But you have had to go through something that no bride should ever have to....and that is definitely something worth crying about. A woman's wedding day is the most important day of her life. We start planning the event when we're little, and dream about it until it finally comes. And when it turns out to be something totally different than imagined, there is always going to be a feeling of loss. I didn't think this was a complaining post. You were sharing your feelings, and reaching out to others who might have had similar experiences. I can relate to this, and I'm sure others will too.
I hope you have many happy times to replace those you have missed and that your healing process is filled with love and support. You are in my thoughts and prayers :)


Amanda said...

You have ever right to be upset... honestly, I've been amazing that you hadn't talked about this sooner. Even now, I think you are dealing much better with this then I could have if I were in your place. It's very natural that you be upset about the memories you miss, and you should take as long as you need to to work through it. In the end, it won't diminish or take away your good memories but only make them more precious and treasured.

Rachael said...

I read through your post a couple of times and thought I might reply. Firstly, I don't think shedding tears negates anything of the day. The blessings you received on that day remain no matter what.
In relation to what happened on your wedding day I can understand what you must be feeling - it's so different from what you imagined and planned. That would be a really hard thing to come to terms with. I know I felt terribly sorry when I heard of it and I know that if was to get married and that happened to me I would feel very disappointed too...

Perhaps it would help to think of your wedding day as being specially planned by God down to the last detail. He loves you and doesn't want to see you suffer either on the day or now - however for some reason which you may never know in this world He asked a big sacrifice of you on your special day. Even though you missed out on some moments and memories which you can never have now - you received some special blessings through your sufferings which you would not have gotten any other way. No suffering is ever worthless or pointless.
Tell God about all what is on your mind - explain to Him what you planned and what you got! Put in a 'loving complaint' and ask Him for the strength to bear it and feel confident that He will answer you.

And certainly I will keep you in my prayers also.
May God Bless and protect you always

Rachael said...

It's me again!

I just thought I would add to my previous comments a tiny story. My sister is a photographer and has shot weddings herself. She once had a situation during a wedding where the bride and the bride's mother fought and argued the whole day. My sister said the bride was trembling and in tears the whole day. Her mother refused to be part of the family photos and walked out of the wedding shortly after the ceremony. That bride missed her reception also due to being back in town trying to patch things up with her mother.

Unfortunately, things like this happen a lot during weddings - my sister reckons they often bring out the worst and not the best in human nature.

I just thought I would say this because at least you have the consoling thought that there was nothing you could do in your situation and it was nobody's fault. There are no family breakups, you have a beautiful supportive family and you don't have to reproach yourself for anything.

Elaine J. Dalton said...

I can relate to your sadness. My wedding wasn't at all what I pictured. None of my friends or family came, due to location and circumstances leading up to the wedding. The worst part was that my sister wasn't there and I'd always wanted her to be by my side when I got married. On the flip side, the couple who were our maid of honor and best man made our wedding to be a joyous celebration. The few friends of my husband who did come proved to us that we still had friends, and the only family member who came was my husband's brother Pete. He touched us so deeply by coming. So, while I didn't have my dream wedding, I had the prefect wedding that I needed. It took me a very long time to realize that. I was more angered by the fact that I hadn't had the one I'd wanted so badly. I try to remind myself, whenever I think about it, that I had the wedding that God wanted me to have because it was the healing balm that I needed.

Emily said...

My parents were both sick on their wedding day. Dad had stomach flu and Mom had bronchitis. There was a ton of confusion because he barely made it through the ceremonies before getting so sick that his parents took him to the doctor...without telling her. :P They say it was miserable when they were doing it, but twenty-five years later they look back and laugh...and also smile at how it ended with both of them collapsed asleep in his twin bed at his parent's house. :P I, meanwhile, have already started praying that mine will go better. :P But who knows? Maybe it was a bonding thing.