Monday, July 28, 2008

The Anti-Funeral

Think for a moment about the most important element of a wedding. You know . . . the part that makes a party seem . . . wedding-y. The dress? The cake? Chivari chairs? Chicken cordon bleu? Apparently, each person in the world (or at least each person who thinks about weddings – that’s everybody, right?) feels there is one thing without which it wouldn’t be a wedding at all. And, here’s the kicker, it’s different for each person. Which isn’t so bad when you’ve got a bride planning the wedding on her own with her mama. That’s two people to satisfy. But when you’ve included an entire community in the planning of said wedding, you’ve got yourself a heap of trouble.

For my FMIL, Momma Mac, I suspect it might be the cake. She offered to buy our buttercreamed beauty, and she enjoyed picking it out with us. My stepmother (Mrs. Pop) sent me shoes in the mail. Apparently, my rubber-soled skimmer shoes didn’t fit the fashion bill, and she kindly (I mean that – very kindly) bought me a pair that were much nicer, but still my style. Shoes are important to her. My Mama has been attempting to brainwash me about my processional music. She has played her favorite song for me at least thirty times. She may even have implemented some sort of subliminal listening system in my home, for all I know. She’s crafty like that!

Cake. Fashion. Music. There’s something else that will make our wedding for me. Family.

Sure, people love their families, and family is so stable for most people that it’s a given at a wedding, which is why they focus on the other parts, like the reception location or something. But family has been a delicate thing for me, and I’m acutely aware of it nearly every moment of every day.

My twin brother died seven years ago, and his absence has been more palpable in the wedding planning than it has been since the year he died. Our family has been through so much tragedy. And we’ve had so many loving friends who tenderly held our hearts as we’ve grieved. Now, instead of planning a funeral and just trying to make it through each day, we’re all planning a wedding and looking well into the future. In short, this wedding is the anti-funeral. Not just for me, but for all of us.

So when I listen a little too much to the opinions of family and friends, and I agonize over how to meld them into a single, coherent day, it’s not because I’m indecisive or too nice (people who know me know that’s certainly not true!). It’s because I want everyone who helped ease the grief to get a piece of the joy.

1 comment:

Meg said...

This made me sad the first time I read it. Sigh. But it's so touching. Your doing it the right way, thats for sure!