The wedding. The wedding is day after tomorrow. The dining room is full of “stuff”. The bride is busy with seating arrangements at the wedding and place cards. I have been working on getting our hot tub up and operational so when the bridesmaids spend the night they can use it if they want to.
We have picked out songs for dances at the reception, set budgets for wine and beer to be available. The wedding planner sends us emails and gives us calls as we head for the finish line. The groom is on is way to be with his groomsman and spend the evening out – the bachelor party, wisely planned a night early to give everyone time to be back in peak condition by the wedding day.
It has a strange unreal quality and I realized I wasn’t plugged in as well as I should be when I found I had been standing for quite a while watching the water level rise in the hot tub. I felt my feelings welling up like the water level.
My daughter with a look of anguish, said “in two days all this work will be over!”
I think we both dread the quiet of reality. For nine months she has been planning this wedding. In July all plans got set aside and she had to deal with her brother’s death. The wedding planning served a good purpose though. It was a good diversion from the sadness.
Most of us know that she will be very busy after the wedding getting used to married life. There will be more time for her, however, to think about her brother.
I don’t know how I feel, and that bothers me. I am so happy for her and her fiance, I know they will work hard at making a good life together. I have times when I am numb. The dulling down of everything is frustrating, but is protection from the raw feelings that are exposed is the only way to survive at times.
The other annoyance is that I am used to giving in to my grief in short bursts. Now there is no time and I can feel it building up like the clouds out there today. It can take entire days away when it happens like this.
A friend of mine who also lost her son said the other night that she while at a gathering in his honor realized with a jolt that her son is really not coming back.
Our son is really not going to be walking down the isle at the wedding, or dancing with his sister, or going out with the boys tonight or picking on me by coming to “rub off my eyebrows.” How is that possible? I tell myself these things in an attempt to go ahead and jolt myself – to say finally yes, he is not coming back. My mind refuses to comprehend it.
I will see that look in my husbands eye and we will touch each other’s hand or arm and we will suck it up till we are alone and can be with our grief.
I wanted all these tears to be tears of joy for my daughter. She deserves them. I have to talk to myself and remind myself and try to make it as real as it can be, because reality has been all torn up and is frayed at the edges now.
My son would have been with us today. Picking on us, maybe suggesting we all go for a hike to settle our nerves, playing with all the dogs. He would have gone with the groom and groomsman eventually, but probably to join them somewhere later – when they found a place they had settled on. He would have come home to be here at night though – basking in the fact that he is the bride’s brother and is allowed to hang out here.
People say, and I know they mean it, that he will be with us in spirit. I hate to be unthankful, but that is just not enough. I can’t wrap my arms around that. So I am opening the faucet today and letting the tears flow – now that my daughter’s fiance is out and about, I don’ t need too many witnesses. I need the man, my son, spirit and all with his lopsided smile and sparkling eyes. I need his arm looped over my shoulder and his wry sense of humor. I need my son because this is a family affair and he is supposed to be here.
So I’m gonna rant today and let my tears flow unfiltered, hot and salty and try to get some of this out so it won’t spill over into Saturday too much.
I’ve gotten ribbons put together and signs to direct folks to the right places. I am really trying as hard as I can to make sure everything is exactly how my daughter wants it. I am going to be there for her, even if I have to fill up the hot tub with my own hot tears.
Pam, it is so apparent that Josh was watching over his family at his sister’s wedding.. I am sure you and Earl have both found that Josh comes roaring back to you in memories only you know about. Enjoy them.