Speaker, Writer, Community Leader, and Believer in Living Large.

Love Past and Present

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Written by Michele | 0 comments

Love Past and Present

When I first was able to entertain the thought of marrying again after the death of my late husband, I was certain that I would fall to pieces when asked to utter the phrase, “till death do us part.” Those four words mean something completely different now that I know what parting actually feels like. So as my wedding to my husband Michael approached, I was nervous about the vows section of our ceremony. Would I be able to speak?

As has happened often on my widowed journey, I discovered that the anticipation of my reaction was much worse than the reality of the day. When I finally stood in front of the man who would be my husband, I found myself overcome with joy that he and I made it. Together we allowed grief to coexist with love, though the concept may not make sense to many other people. He didn’t require me to walk away from my widowhood in order to become his wife. With the assurance that my love for Phil was safe, my love for Michael found room to grow.

This love includes my kids, my family, my friends both old and new, and my widowed community. Finding someone who could embrace every part of my life is a blessing I experience with awe, and instead of crying all I could do was smile.

But, I will share a secret with you. When Michael and I finally lay down at the end of a wonderful evening full of love, laughter, and friendship…I cried and cried. When he asked me what was wrong I said, “I don’t think I believed until right this minute that this day would actually come.” I explained to him that, looking back, it seems as if I held my breath for the two years we dated, waiting for the other shoe to drop. He kissed me on the head and said, “Don’t worry, both my shoes are still on.”

As I write these words, I am very clearly able to recall a time when I was certain that I would never remarry. The journey that has led me to the place I am today has been equal parts terrifying and amazing. What I share here is not intended to imply that being married again will wipe away all the pain of loss. Nor do I believe that marrying again is somehow mandatory as proof of healing. I just wanted to share with you my reality, which is that I don’t have to trade in one love for another…I can have both.

Copyright © Michele Neff Hernandez 2011 All rights reserved. Any use of materials on this website, including reproduction, modification, distribution or republication, without the prior written consent of Michele Neff Hernandez, is strictly prohibited.

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