It was two weeks before her wedding and she was depressed as hell.
It was so hard putting up a smile, so hard concentrating on the last minute arrangements, so hard keeping it together.
It had all started the day she went to pick up her gown. They’d had to make some minor adjustments and fix a tear in the veil, so she went back to the shop to check if it was perfect and take it home with her.
She got into the changing room, put it on and stepped out, feeling every inch a bride to be. Staring at her reflection, she knew she’d made the right choice because the dress looked like it had been made for her, and crowning it all was the cathedral-style veil. Her smile cracked a little, and it was all she could do to keep the tears in until she was back in the changing room, safely hidden from the concerned shop girl’s eyes. It was difficult to cry quietly with a broken heart, but she had no choice because these tears couldn’t wait .
She cried, that kind of release where you’re conscious of nothing else, save how to get the writhing ball of hurt out your body, through your eyes.
She cried till her eyes were swollen shut.
She cried till her chest ached.
She cried till she was wheezing like one in the throes of an asthma attack.
She cried till she couldn’t breathe and the panic pushed all the blood to her head till it roared in her ears.
She realized that she was on the floor some minutes later, and hoped to God that she hadn’t torn the veil again. She carefully stepped out of the dress and hung the veil over the door. She felt miserable.
She had everything. Her friends and family were super psyched that her big day was coming up, and the excitement in her mom’s house was palpable. The man she was going to promise forever to? Honestly, she could never have imagined a better man on this earth. She loved him so much that when he proposed, her girlfriends had to beg her to cancel the thanksgiving mass she had planned. He was everything. The kind of man she knew would help her be the best person she could possibly become. The kind of man who loved and accepted her as she was. The connection between them was such that he seemed to know when she wanted space and when she needed his arms around her. He was a flawed mortal in all the perfect ways.
And she didn’t want to tell him what was eating at her inside, for fear she’d see that look of hurt helplessness in his eyes. Because there was nothing he could do to change things. Because this time, he couldn’t give her what she craved.
She wanted her dad to walk her down the aisle.
She wanted him to walk in on her getting her makeup done the morning of her wedding, and hear what affectionate, teasing thing he’d say to express how beautiful she looked.
She wanted to look up at him through her veil, and see the love and pride and poorly concealed tears glazing in his eyes as he handed her over to the love of her life.
She wanted him to assure her, as she tried to control the tears, “You’ll always be my little girl.”
She wanted to dance with him.
But she couldn’t.
And she’d never hear him say all those things.
Because he was dead. And nothing could bring him back.
This year, we “celebrate” twenty years of life without the head of our family. You can read more here.
May his soul continue to rest in peace.
May God continue to keep my family united in love, and may His favour help us hold on to laughter, even in the face of tears.