As my cousins wedding approaches this Fall, I can't help but think of celebrating love and joy amidst tragedy. If anyone knows anything about this, it is most certainly Stephen and I. Two weeks before our wedding is when we found out Jacob would not be coming home with us, only 6 months after burying Ty.
We debated whether or not to get married, we were both filled with grief. We lived in sorrow and we're faced with a long, emotional next few months with Jacob's journey. But, we decided to celebrate something we could celebrate, our love for eachother.
On our wedding day, we were well aware of what we had been through and where we were headed. Tragedy was all around us but for that one day we chose to celebrate love above all else.
You see, my cousins dad (my uncle) passed away a few years ago. I know her wedding day will be hard. I know she will feel it isn't complete, it isn't right. Her dad should be walking her down the aisle, but he isn't. It doesn't mean the day has to be ruined, it doesn't mean the day has to be filled with sorrow because weddings aren't about sorrow. Weddings are about happiness, love, joy, becoming family. I do hope for her, she can see the celebration amidst the tragedy. I hope she can softly acknowledge her sorrow in her own way but to enjoy the day. I hope she has a beautiful day, a beautiful ceremony and truly feels the love surrounding her. It's a day about her, it's a day about her love for her future husband. It's a day about love and life. It's not a time to reflect upon the sorrow in depth. Just like our wedding day was not the time to reflect upon Ty or Jacobs death. We were able to see the love, to see the celebration and it was one of the best days. People still say to this day that our wedding was the best they had ever been to. They said they could feel the love and had such a nice time. It is very possible to celebrate love amidst tragedy.
We all know my uncle won't be there, just as we knew Ty would not be with us and Jacob wouldn't even get a chance to come home. There is sorrow but in sorrow is also love and celebration.
I have another friend who is getting married on July 31st. Her father also passed away, he will also not be walking her down the aisle (though their ceremony is much different in India). I know she has sorrow but I also know she sees the love and is choosing to embrace and celebrate the good. She is celebrating something that needs to be celebrated. I only wish we could have flown to India to be with her!
There is always something to celebrate, even if so small and hard to see. There is always love amidst tragedy and that should be celebrated. So whether you are getting married, having your rainbow baby or another love filled life event, know that it is possible (and okay) to celebrate love even surrounded by tragedy. Love is above all else, it is what will get you through.
I look forward to my cousins wedding, seeing all of our family , enjoying time together, celebrating her journey into becoming a Mrs. and surrounding her with love.