I once travelled happily alone. Then the most beautiful thing happened and suddenly I was half of two; two became one. But before I could start to document our life together, his life was tragically gone. My darling Ems is now in the bright lights of Heaven and I remain. This is the story of my journey from here. Gratefully a journey that One whose ways are above all of ours takes with me. One day I'll reach those bright lights for myself but until I do, join me on my journey, keeping memories close.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Memories of a year ago

GarethJonesPhotography, 2009

I've thought about it and I cannot possibly let today go by without blogging. Today. Today is a massive day. Today is the 27th June. Today would have been our 1st wedding anniversary. If Ems was still here we'd probably have cooed about how wonderful the first year had been, how it had flown by, yet also how it felt like we'd been married forever.

Time doesn't fly anymore but it really did feel like we'd been married forever. It feels so wrong that such a depth of love, such a brilliant partnership, such a beautiful marriage, only lasted 5 months. It truly felt like we'd been together all our lives. It still does. Many have commented on how we had a whole lifetime in our 2 years. We did. Yet I am still here, I am still living life on earth, and I am nearing the end of what would only have been our first wedding anniversary, and he's not here.

And on this day, I have known immense grief and brokenness. On waking I thought 'so this is it' and it wasn't long before well-wishing messages and reflections on my beautiful husband and the phenomenal day we married last year, had me broken. I am so grateful for those messages. Brokenness of course, as you'll have seen in my last blog, is something I had longed for this weekend. There was no way I wanted to pass this milestone numb. I had to feel, I had to remember, and I have.

Today being a Sunday has meant I have kept in my normal routine of attending church. It didn't make the anniversary go away (I wouldn't have wanted it to - 27th June, 2009 was the best day of our lives) but it meant I had something 'normal' to do.

As I travelled to church this morning from my parent's house, I thought about the same journey I made there last year in the VW Campervan that Ems had inspiredly chosen as our mode of transport for the day. I was broken remembering the emotions bubbling up that I had tried so hard to hold in as I made my way to the church that day.

As I parked outside the church, I remembered all the people that had gathered outside to watch the wedding and the smiles and excitement they shared with me as I arrived in my wedding dress that day. It was very different this morning. Just as the emotions had built up as I saw their excitement for us that day, the emotions built up as I walked alone towards the church where one of the loveliest people I know greeted me with a hug and such a genuine welcome on the door (as he does every Sunday).

As I walked into the church I remembered walking down the aisle towards my beautiful man, my proud father at my side, thrilled with my choice of husband. I was alone this year, the man that had walked me back up that aisle as my new husband, no longer at my side. I did my usual Sunday glance around, quickly looking for an available seat next to a friendly face before the panic kicks in. Two beautiful friends had the foresight to save me a seat between them and were ushering me to it. I am so grateful for this thoughtfulness.

As I sat in the seat on the back row, I remembered proudly standing at the front with my Ems. We wanted to share that moment with the whole world and the church was packed. Today I was at home on the back row which has been my resting place each Sunday these past 7 months, no longer confident sitting near the front as I would have while Ems played the guitar, only for him to join me afterwards. One thing that hasn't changed - I still want to share our love with the world.

As the songs begun I thought over the time and effort we'd put in together to choosing the 'right' songs, readings, etc for the service. One of the obvious choices had been a song called 'Blessed be your name' by Matt Redman. The band had picked it for this evening's service. It had been a song Ems had mentioned hearing when I hardly knew him. It was to become our song as it talks of God in the light and darkness, so relevant to our walk together through his SAD. We sung it with gusto at the wedding that day, 'when the suns shining down on me' we sung, as it did. 5 months later we'd sung it at his funeral, 'when I'm found in the desert place', which I'm still in. Today we sung it, both the light and the darkness so clear in my mind.

Following our vows last year we knelt down as the pastor (minister) prayed for us. Today, it was I, and not us, who was included in their prayers on this memorable day.

When I left the church I remembered so clearly our excitement that we were finally 'Mr and Mrs Davies'. We were thrilled. We were excited. We were so in love. Our friends and family showered us in confetti. Two days ago I'd stood at Ems' grave, picking the heads off the roses that I'd left there on his birthday, and one head at a time, breaking off the petals and scattering them across his grave. It was my confetti for him, remembering that moment where we'd stood together under it the year before, now somewhat symbolically showering rose petals, and my love, on his grave (not that he's there). There weren't the smiles and the cheers but the love was just as real, just as tangible, just as beautiful.

And of course, as I drove away, I remembered driving away with my lovely Mr Davies, choked with emotion as we embarked on married life together. We were both so proud, so deeply and madly in love. Today, I drove away alone, something I am, because I have no other option, becoming all too familiar with. Still madly in love.

Just as I was overwhelmed with emotion on the 27th June, 2009, I have been overwhelmed with emotion today, 27th June, 2010. Last year the emotion was excitement and sheer joy at coming together with the love of my life. This year the emotion is deep sadness that the love of my life is no longer here.

I know one day I'll see him again where there'll be no more parting. Till then, I will go on remembering with immense gratitude that Ems was mine, Ems was mine, oh how truly blessed I am to be able to say such words however agonising it is that my boy isn't here.

On a side note, and somewhat ironic as the first anniversary is represented with 'paper', this blog featured in the press today (see link below). It wasn't actually on paper but in an online article, the link to which is below. I just want to thank all of you that have kept encouraging me to write. This journey has a long way to go, my whole life, however long that may be, and I am privileged to be able to share it with you the reader, whoever you may be. View the article here.

The same article was later (28th June, 2010) published on The Huffington Post website too. View the article here.

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy that you posted a link on the Young Widows & Widowers FB page. I am always delighted to find a sister in Christ walking the same road I am, although I wish neither of us had to do so.

    I was a newlywed, too. We were married just 18 months when my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer, and he passed away ten months later in March of this year.

    I've found that my faith in Christ is what sustains me, and it seems that is where you are finding your strength, too. We will see our guys again. This is just a temporary separation, albeit a painful one.

    Please come visit my blog! I hope we can be a good source of encouragement to one another, and if you'd like some links to other blogs written by young Christian widows, I'd be happy to email one to you.