The Time Hunter Cried at a Wedding.

Weddings are often scenes for tears. We’ve all had a good cry at a wedding! I have definitely cried. It is an emotionally charged, much-anticipated occasion where people express the whole gamut of feelings- from unbridled joy to tears.

Tears at weddings can come for all kinds of reasons. The thought of passed loved ones missing out, memories of your own big day, parental pride, joy for the couple, happiness that the day went smoothly, emotional exhaustion from helping out- all kinds of reasons come forward at weddings. I mean, that’s why weddings create such great reality TV!

We recently attended my friend’s wedding. All four of us went and it was so lovely. The joy and love for the couple was palatable. This wedding was especially emotionally charged because the bride is chronically ill, and there were some points in her life where they wondered if she would make it to the end of the year, much less to this happy occasion. 

Hunter seemed oblivious to it all. I’m not sure he fully grasped the impact of the speeches, or understands how important a wedding is. He said stuff like, “So they live together already- this is just so they know they live together forever?” To which I replied, “Essentially.” 

He marveled at the candy table and enjoyed the food. He liked running on the dance floor with the other kids. 

It wasn’t until the first dance of the new couple that the emotions of the day really hit him. Speeches were done, dinner had been served and then they announced the first dance of the Mr and Mrs.. When the couple hit the dance floor and the love song started, Hunter came running back to Josh and I, silently weeping.

When he couldn’t seem to pull himself together, I went with him to the lobby. I asked him what was wrong and he said,

“That was supposed to be me and Bailey someday.”

You can read the whole story HERE, but, basically, here is what happened:

My son had a best girl friend in kindergarten, named Bailey. She was his Queen and he was her Knight. They vowed to get married someday. At 5 years old, they sat focusing on where they would live, the colour of their walls, who would work where, and how many pets they would have. I often stayed long after his half-day was done so they could play in the schoolyard together.

In grade one, she was supposed to transfer to a new school, but ended up in our school for one more year. Hunter was ecstatic. Three weeks into that school year, she mysteriously died. Bailey was at school on Friday and on Wednesday we found out she was dead. Hunter was devastated. In fact, he knew the minute she was gone, as you will read in the original post. 

Hunter went to therapy for a year but he is still working through it. Hunter thinks about Bailey often. He will randomly remark on her funeral, their plans, or “the friend he once knew”.

At the wedding, during the first dance, he started to cry.  When I took him outside, he admitted to thinking of Bailey and their plans. She doesn’t visit him anymore, he said, but he’s sure she is still on the moon, looking down on him. It’s too hard for him to talk about it longer and in more detail than that. Later on, after a bit of silence sitting heavy between us, he said,

“I don’t plan on ever getting married. It’s not going to be the right person.”

As a mom, you feel so helpless. It also makes me feel for Bailey’s mom. My son may be working through feelings and hurt sometimes, but her little girl is gone forever. Sometimes, I think about her situation and my chest physically hurts and I get sick thinking about it. I can’t help her anymore than I can help Hunter work through it. And that sucks. 

Josh actually turned to me during the ceremony and said, 

“I hope Hunter never sees the movie My Girl. It might be too much for him.”

Because he’s lived it. So when Hunter cried at the wedding, it was because he would never have the first dance with the first girl he loved. 

I’m just glad we are here to support him and that his will and resilience will get him through it. 

He’s wearing my sunglasses. And, of course, Isabella is by his side, making him smile. 
My Son’s Friend Died and Nothing is the Same.
Astronauts and Angels
How Grief Made Me a Better Parent

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