A Washingtonian Wedding: At a Loss

I’m sitting here trying to think of some fluff wedding subject to write on, but I’m getting nowhere. . . So instead I’m going to blog about the source of my writer’s block.

Last week my boss passed away. She’d battled and beat the cancer twice, but last Wednesday it took her. If you’d known her, you’d describe her as being energetic, lively, spirited. . . . And so this life-filled woman is suddenly very still, and without life in her body.

Death has always been a very surreal topic for me. It’s been really strange working every day in her PR firm and knowing she’ll never again type at her desk computer or approve a press release. It’s been a tearful and tough time at the office for all of us, her employees, but I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for her husband. His constant companion for 13 years, and now she’s just gone.

I couldn’t help but trade shoes. One of my married coworkers commented that when you sign up for marriage, you sign up for heartache. And I think I agree. One of the biggest joys this life has to offer, marriage is also one of the most difficult. Becoming that close and so intertwined with one person is one of the most beautiful wonders, but it also leaves you vulnerable to immense hurt. If you open your heart to any meaningful relationship, you run the risk of being hurt—and of course it’s worth it. But all the same, losing Drew is a very hard thought to entertain. In fact, I can’t go too far down that thought train or I’ll start crying.

So this week in grieving for Joan and dealing with her passing, I’m considering life and love and the gravity of marriage—what precious things they all are. How they should not be taken lightly or for granted but should be treasured.

Again, I think there’s a tendency to get caught up in the little stuff: the fondant flowers on the cake that don’t resemble flowers, the five pounds you didn’t lose, the iPod mix instead of a five-piece band. They are so unimportant in the grand scheme of life and falling in love and entering marriage. As hard as it is to lose a loved one—in this case, my boss—I’m grateful to her for, even in dying, teaching me a lesson and reminding me of what is important.


Emily, a Washington bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Nashville this August. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.

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