He bent over and held me tight. He didn’t let go.
“Tomorrow is…was…was supposed to be Scott’s and my anniversary,” I said through tears.
He hugged me tighter. “How many years?”
“15.” I sighed and attempted to dis-embrace, but he held on, and that was exactly what I needed. I felt safe.
“Tell me about your first anniversary,” he said quietly. We cuddled together as I went back to the fun weekend in Boston fourteen years ago. I did not know it in that moment, but talking about Scott was exactly what I needed.
Scott and I married on March 16, 2002, on a beautiful sunny day after a snowstorm. Our last anniversary together was March 16, 2013, which we spent in the hospital. We were married eleven years. We were in love. We were happy. Our life together wasn’t perfect, but it was ours. I will never forget our marriage and I shouldn’t have to forget.
Sixteen years ago, when we set our wedding date, we intended that this day would be a day of celebration for years to come. It was such a day for eleven years. Right now, four years after our last anniversary together, it’s still sad. Although I am happily married to another wonderful, amazing man, I still grieve the marriage that I lost. Our anniversary is a reminder of the years we were never granted, the lessons that we never learned together.
Those who remember, don’t know what to say. Oftentimes, people say nothing. It’s not an easy day, because despite embracing life and moving forward, I grieve the marriage that ended sooner than we expected.
Please know, it’s okay to be uncomfortable. It’s okay to feel the grief. It’s okay that a person is happy, sad, dis-content and content all at the same time. It’s okay to not understand. It’s okay to ask. Most of all, it’s okay to say, “Tell me about him.” That is what I need. I need to honor his life, our marriage, his memory. Moving forward is not forgetting. Moving forward does not mean I stop loving him. Moving forward means I continue to live, despite this loss. I do it for me, my children, and to honor his memory.
He lived. We loved. We were married. We have two beautiful, wonderful children. He died. I fell in love again, while still loving Scott. Life is messy. That’s okay. Sometimes, all I need is to hear, “Tell me about him.”