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This room is for those who have lost a spouse and need support or who can provide support to those who have.

Saint Paula is the patron saint of widows and Saint Stephen is the patron saint of deacons
Learn More: Saint Stephen and Saint Paula

07/15/2012 new

Hi, John.

There's no doubt that the anniversaries are tough. I could have even written your original post as my niece got married on my husband's third angelversary. I took it as a personal insult and questioned my sister on why she would do that. (Never mind that it was a major holiday.) I fretted for months and could not get excited about any part of the planning. My husband and I always held hands during weddings and knowing he wouldn't be there and having it mark the worst day of my life was agonizing. The trick is to have an escape plan in place before hand. My niece's plans had absolutely nothing to do with me. It was her day and I wasn't going to sour it for her. As it turned out, it was an outdoor wedding and sitting there absorbed in my own thoughts, a dragonfly landed on my leg. It was a great distraction and as I watched it through the vows, I noticed my brother and sister-in-law pointing at it.

They had lost their son a year earlier and were mourning their child who would never have the chance to be married. They ran up to me afterwards and said they had wished the dragonfly would have landed on them. There is a native belief that it is a symbol of life and change and thought to carry the spirit of those that have passed. I took it as a sign that my spouse was there with me anyway. I didn't stay long at the reception, but I was happy that I was able to celebrate the day with my niece and my family.

Sometimes anticipating the event or an anniversary is worse than the actual day. The people closest to you will understand and ask you how you are doing. Answer them honestly, "I'm doing as well as can be expected. It's a tough day." At least you'll be surrounded by lots of people that can hug and support you and your niece will be honored to have you there.

08/04/2012 new

Two of my daughters moved their weddings ahead hoping my husband would be able to attend. He died on a Saturday, one week exactly before the first wedding. We felt it would have been Dave's wish that we carry on with the plans simply because they had been changed once already. A picture of her father and a bouquet of flowers were placed at the entrance of the dining hall along side the guestbook. The wedding was wonderful, the bride was beautiful, she danced with her brother for the father daughter dance. There was this feeling of his presence there, but we missed him. After the celebration was over and everyone was gone, my daughter and I met in the dressing room, held eachother and cried our hearts out.

Her twin sister's wedding was one month later. Another beautiful bride and we were missing Dad again.

Was it a mistake to move the weddings up? Was it wrong to go ahead with the ceremonies so soon after Dave died?

I believe that, yes, life goes on, and it is good. Our loved one lives on in our hearts. We shouldn't worry about dates piling up on eachother. People will understand the reason for someone's grief. My mother-in-law died on my birthday, my husband found out he had cancer on my birthday, I found out mom had cancer on my birthday. We still celebrate my birthday! And I also remember the wonderful woman my mother-in-law was. This is life...

One thing positive about Dave's death - I know that my children believe in Our Lord and the place he has for us in his heavenly home. I know, because they claim the day their dad died as his NEW BIRTHDAY. Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

08/05/2012 new

Kathy, I've never heard of the term "angelversary" before, but I love it...thanks for sharing it! It is such a positive way to mark the day... rose

09/30/2012 new

My neice is now married! It was a long day with several low moments that were made more manageable by being around the family. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and prayers, they also helped.

09/30/2012 new

(Quote) John-847566 said: My neice is now married! It was a long day with several low moments that were made more manageable...
(Quote) John-847566 said:

My neice is now married! It was a long day with several low moments that were made more manageable by being around the family. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and prayers, they also helped.

--hide--
Now you can breathe, John. Despite your deep personal feelings, your ties to your niece transcended your discomfort. It's understandable that there were many moments during the day that caught your breath and might have been mind numbing. But you stuck it out and discovered something about yourself. I'm sure that in the long run, you'll be glad you attended, despite the difficulty doing so. The rest of your family is apparently supportive and I'm sure they were sensitive to your situation.

Sometimes there's no right or wrong, and had you been absent for the ceremony and celebration, people would have understood. That you decided to attend shows them your inner strength you had to draw upon to be there.

There will be other moments such as this -- they have a habit of sneaking up on you. Your feelings are your own -- you're entitled to them. You can't just file all the memories away. But the good days will outnumber the bad and sad ones.

It's called life.....

11/04/2012 new

(Quote) John-847566 said: My niece is getting married this fall and I’m very happy for her. This will be the first mar...
(Quote) John-847566 said:

My niece is getting married this fall and I’m very happy for her. This will be the first marriage on my side of the family since my late wife and I were married. However, the wedding is on the same day as the anniversary of my wife’s death. Based on previous anniversaries, I will probably be a gloomy person to be around. It’s a big day for the young couple and I don’t want to detract from it. I could use some suggestions for how to put on a cheerful face at the wedding.

--hide--


John, this very thing happened in my family too. Some years back (1996) one of my nieces got married on the anniversary of my father's death the year prior. At first I was very put off by the thought that she would go ahead and marry on the same day my dad died (he was her grandfather and they adored each other) This is how she solved the problem and everyone was happy with it. My niece was very aware of the day and one of the things she did was set a placing at the head table, next to her, for my dad, and she asked the waiter that was serving to be sure he also served food on my dad's plate and a glass of wine to toast. When the different toasts were being made, she got up to speak and she acknowledged that the date brought a lot of sad feelings for her, her mom (my sister) and all of us siblings and other family members. She acknowledged how much she loved her grandfather and that she knew he would not miss her wedding, which is why he had a place at the table and unceremoniously announced that he was there, sitting at the table with them and giving them his blessing. We thought what she said was touching and we very much liked her gesture. She did not allow anybody else to sit at the empty chair, as she said her grandfather was sitting on it and that was that. We were happy she acknowledged both the happiness and the sadness of the day and remembered my dad. So we all raised our glasses to toast the happy couple and remembered my dad at the same time. I don't know if this will work in your family, but it put a happy touch in ours.

11/05/2012 new

My father-in-law died on our 12th wedding anniversary, and it was 3 days after our 36 wedding anniversary that I decided to free myself from an abusive relationship.

11/05/2012 new

(Quote) John-847566 said: My niece is getting married this fall and I’m very happy for her. This will be the first mar...
(Quote) John-847566 said:

My niece is getting married this fall and I’m very happy for her. This will be the first marriage on my side of the family since my late wife and I were married. However, the wedding is on the same day as the anniversary of my wife’s death. Based on previous anniversaries, I will probably be a gloomy person to be around. It’s a big day for the young couple and I don’t want to detract from it. I could use some suggestions for how to put on a cheerful face at the wedding.

--hide--


I have no idea, John. Yesterday was the 6th anniversary of my husband's death. Big success...I got tears in my eyes but didn't cry. I keep reminding myself that the anniversary of David's death is really the anniversary of his leaving to be with God and to have no more pain. Intellectually, that makes Nov. 4th a great day. I don't know if I am convincing myself or if time is really healing.


Marriage is such a wonderful blessing and such an opportunity to love and be loved. Maybe thinking about the positives that were brought into your life through your marriage will help you think positively about the wedding. You didn't mention how long it has been since your wife's death. It may be that you just haven't had enough time to heal. If that is the case, then you might put on a happy face for as long as you can and then quietly leave. It's a tough question, John. I am sure that many of us will pray that you find the answer you are looking for.


God bless,


- Elizabeth

11/05/2012 new

I have my own little story about special days...My husband and I were wed on April 26th and on our one year anniversary we were given our first child. We joked at the time that we would never have the opportunity to celebrate our own special day, because our son's birthday would always trump. This proved to be the case, year after year we celebrated our son's joyful day, and ended the day with a knowing smile between the two of us. When my husband very suddenly passed away one month before our 7th anniversary.....I began to see God's reasoning. Our Heavenly Father, in all His Infinate Wisdom, arranged this "coincidence" very masterfully. I know the gifts I have been given in my three sons. Our Lord had carried me through these difficult few years with them as His instruments. When my son's birthday comes around each year, I laugh and I cry, but most of all... I love.

11/05/2012 new
(Quote) Christina-816969 said: I have my own little story about special days...My husband and I were wed on April 26th and on our one year...
(Quote) Christina-816969 said:

I have my own little story about special days...My husband and I were wed on April 26th and on our one year anniversary we were given our first child. We joked at the time that we would never have the opportunity to celebrate our own special day, because our son's birthday would always trump. This proved to be the case, year after year we celebrated our son's joyful day, and ended the day with a knowing smile between the two of us. When my husband very suddenly passed away one month before our 7th anniversary.....I began to see God's reasoning. Our Heavenly Father, in all His Infinate Wisdom, arranged this "coincidence" very masterfully. I know the gifts I have been given in my three sons. Our Lord had carried me through these difficult few years with them as His instruments. When my son's birthday comes around each year, I laugh and I cry, but most of all... I love.

--hide--


Very beautiful story!
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