June 22 is a very special day for me. It always will be. It was on this day in 1986 that Bill and I exchanged wedding vows and from that day forward on the 22nd of every month that followed we celebrated our marriage  with cards, poems, dinner out and special moments. I still do honor that day each month.
Memories of our life have been flooding my mind and heart for many days now...more than they usually do. I have relived the preparation and planning of our wedding including the day we chose our rings with their open weave; a symbol, we decided, of the openness we planned to have between us in our marriage, a desire we carried out over the years. I remember driving our motorcycle up to my friend's farm the week before the wedding and leaving it in her barn so it would be there for our 1st honeymoon which was at a nearby site. Our second honeymoon, a few months later, was in Hawaii. And I remember being with the people I most loved and experiencing the deep joy of the dream of our lives coming true. Most of all I remember promising to love and cherish Bill as he promised me the same. And that we did...and did well.
I think back to that day and realized as I looked at the photos yesterday that so many who were present for that glorious event have since died including my parents, Bill's father and brother, several of my closest of closest friends and of course, Bill
Wedding anniversaries take on a very strange feeling for someone whose spouse has died. Those of you who have lost your spouse know all about this. It is a day that really has meaning only for the two people involved and a day that is most often celebrated by the couple on a special date or trip. When one of them is gone, the other is left to remember and honor that day alone. It is like no other special day or holiday.
Little did we know on that warm day in June the adventure that was to be ours over the years. How grateful I am for the moments we shared and the deep love that was ours. We were indeed very blessed
Picture
In Gandhi Park in London
I usually treat this day the way I treat all of Bill's birthdays, death anniversaries, holidays, our wedding anniversary and other special times. I spend time looking at photos of moments we shared, reading poems and cards we wrote to each other, writing in my journal and making a visit to the cemetery among other things. It is rare when I spend one of these days with friends unless it happens to be Christmas or Easter. I am a person of ritual so I will usually light a candle, meditate, and just be silent for a while on these sacred days. Certainly there are tears and smiles.
I recommend a plan for these days...especially in the early years following a significant loss ("early" being something only you can define). Later on these special days seem to be easier to deal with though I have been surprised many times in these four years when a birthday or anniversary or any day just sweeps me out to a dark sea of pain and throws me back up on the beach with great force. After these many months I have come to be prepared for almost anything. That is how grief is...unpredictable. It is not a straight line but rather a roller coaster ride with sharp unexpected turns, deep and painful dips, and days where the ride is smooth and even peaceful. The dips get further apart if we do our grief work. Time is not the answer. Time only works if we also do our work.

How do you spend the day of your wedding anniversary or other special days?
 


Comments

06/22/2014 8:01am

Thinking of you today, dearest Mary, and holding you in my heart ♥

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05/13/2016 4:10am

When my husband died last year part of me has also died, I understand your situation and I know how hard it is to lose a husband. Every night I cry myself to sleep, every day is a struggle and I don’t know anymore how to go on with my life. If not only for my child, I think I already committed a suicide. I don’t have the motivation to wake up each day, I tried to hang up with my friends in the hope of alleviating my pain but it doesn’t help. It just made me sadder and every thing that reminds me of my husband makes me cry. I know that we can move on but the pain will always be there. I hope that someday we can find the acceptance that we need and I really hope that you’ll have a good health for your children and for the people that loves you.

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06/22/2014 9:07am

Thank you, my dear friend!

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06/22/2014 5:33pm

Dear Mary,
You are in my heart today, and you and Bentley are in my prayers, as well as in my heart, and on my mind
Thank you for sharing with us the blessing of your beautiful spiritual marriage. The glory of your love shines on your faces and in your words.
ilo

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Mary Friedel-Hunt
06/22/2014 5:55pm

Thanks you so much for your kind words, ilo. It has been a quiet and now rainy day....calmer in view of Bentley's health issues possibly disappearing. We shall see. Thank you.

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Deb Kosmer
06/22/2014 9:47pm

Mary, you pour your love out so beautifully. I wish I had known you then and been there for that divine celebration. I love you. Deb

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Mary Friedel-Hunt
06/23/2014 9:24am

Thank you, Deb. I know you would have loved Bill had you known him.

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Jan
06/23/2014 1:26am

Dearest Mary
You write of this sacred event so well and I send love to you. Alone, yes, but I hope you feel Bill with you. Jan

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06/26/2014 11:02am

Thank you so much, Jan. Yes, I know he is will me as Pete is with you.

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Anne Gorman
06/23/2014 5:00am

Another beautifully written piece. Two souls joined as one yet separate. What wonderful memories to hold in your heart. I like the picture of you and Bill in Gandhi Park in London. The journey of healing really is filled with roller coaster rides and ocean waves. Those of us who know "get it."

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Mary Friedel-Hunt
06/23/2014 7:40pm

Dear Anne, Thank you so much for your kind words. Bill and I wandered through that park often. Very peaceful there. Yes, roller coaster rides and tsunamis....

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06/23/2014 7:34am

Thank you for this powerful, honest piece, Mary. Yesterday was your anniversary day and today you'll continue your saga with Bentley--and you'll do it without Bill. Sigh... Like you, wedding anniversaries are something I remember alone. There is so much else I do alone that was once shared--special foods, favorite places on the lake, shared private jokes. It's not easy to laugh at my own silly jokes.

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Mary Friedel-Hunt
06/23/2014 9:32am

Yes, Elaine, so many things we do alone that were once shared...it is an endless list. Today we ARE going to the UW...I will send you an email with details.

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Elizabeth Kelsey
06/26/2014 10:50am

Thanks Mary. What a beautiful piece. Our 50th was the hardest for me.
Love, Liz

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06/26/2014 11:03am

I understand, Liz. Anniversaries bring back so many memories.

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There have been several informational points in your site. Many thanks for updating that.

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What makes it so special?

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