A couple of weeks ago I had the incredible honor of attending my bestie Sophie’s zoom wedding. It was an incredibly emotional experience for me because I was beyond happy to watch Sophie and Gavin tie the knot but also incredibly sad that I could not be there for one of the most memorable days of Sophie's life.
Sophie’s wedding also made me think of all the once, twice, thrice rescheduled weddings that are creating the Wedding Boom of 2021 and all the people who are unable to attend these lovely events. Whether it is a grandparent who can’t travel, or a loved one who has passed away, it all made me think back to my own wedding and how I honored the loved ones who could not attend my big day.
6 years after my brother lost his battle to cancer, I met the love of my life. We dated for a little while, he popped the question, I accepted, and the wedding planning began. My wedding would be the next BIG life decision that my brother would miss. I was thrilled to be marrying my love but my brother’s passing left a huge hole in my heart.
Amir and I were best friends. Trust me, we fought like crazy and annoyed the heck out of each other, but we were each other’s everything. We went through every big life experience together. We experienced war, a revolution, moved to strange countries to escape said war/revolution but we never felt alone because we had each other. Being only 2 years and 2 months apart, we attended the same elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. We were present at every game, grad, recital, arrest (that’s a whole other story)…you know…all of the big life moments. I never told my brother this while he was alive but since my dad was not around through my adult years I had this dream that my brother would be the one to walk me down the aisle.
Fast forward to my wedding, I tried my best to represent Amir in all the meaningful ways. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental rendition of Bob Marley’s song Three Little Birds because he told me whenever I heard that song it was him letting me know he was present. We honored him by saying his name out loud, followed by a prayer and a moment of silence. It was beautiful but in hindsight I wish I had a fingerprint pendant of his print that day so that I could literally hold his hand while walking down the aisle. If I could go back and do it all over again…that’s the one part I would change. The rest was absolutely magical.