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Wednesday, May 31, 2006


There's something terribly melancholy to me about weddings. It doesn't make sense, because it is a thoroughly joyous occasion, not only for the bride and groom but (hopefully) also for the guests who get to see old friends and family, raise many glasses of free liquor, and dance the night away.

But, sitting under the dark wedding pavilion this weekend with my family as most of the other guests danced and drank on the lighted clubhouse (it was just too hot there, though, and was delightful under the tent), I told that to my brother-in-law, and once I explained, he agreed with me.

It's such a public celebration of something that is inherently, intimately private. While everyone joins in the love and celebration, they are still essentially left on the outside.

What I didn't also tell him was that often (in my experience, and for some others I know) it also feels like loss. Inexplicably (for my sister had been a part of his family already for five or so years), I felt like I was losing her to him and them. No matter how wonderful they all are, they were still taking her away from me and my family. They can give her things I can't, my parents can't.

The day of her wedding, I felt useless and unnecessary. Everything went off without a hitch, without needing me. (I don't know if she ever really needs anything from me, but on a day like that, I wanted to feel indispensible.) Her new brother-in-law made a computer presentation of photos, and I looked through the stack my parents provided him before the ceremony. Flipping through the years of pictures, I felt acutely the loss of my darling baby sister with dimpled kness and pudgy cheeks, and I still cry every time I think about that morning.

A wedding is such a symbolic manifestation of all that, for in truth, I have not lost her at all, not really. It just feels like it sometimes.



Blogger Sarah said...

That is so nice that you feel that way about your sister. It is interesting to see it from a big sister's point of view. I didn't feel like that when any of my sisters got married. I probably see it from the little sister view even though I have little sisters. I just know that I would have been totally pissed if Jennifer had picked her friend that I couldn't stand over me to be her maid of honor.

8:47 PM  

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