This wedding was in a castle in Southern France.
Perhaps I didn’t cry enough. Perhaps I held back my tears too much. The pain in my throat…perhaps it was love, trying to get out. Perhaps love trying to get in. The anticipation of what was to become a most amazing and inspirational wedding ceremony, hung in the pre-ceremony air as if we all knew. Even the birds, the wind, the light, the stone walls, floor and ceiling. Just like all weddings, you know what to expect. That’s when the pain starts.
This wedding though, was different
This wedding was for my niece, Hannah Long. This wedding was attended by all my brothers, “The Boys” (Jeff, Jay, Jon and Joel). Yes, we’ve come a “long” way from California, 1964, when our Dad died in a car accident, leaving my Mom to raise 4 boys in Montana. This was the first time “The Boys” were ever out of the US at the same time, let alone in the same country. This wedding was only my Moms second grand kid’s marriage. This wedding was attended by my wife Barb and son Baxter. This wedding was artfully “officiated” by my brother Joel. This wedding gave me a new nephew in Wes Barker!
Laurie Andersen believes that grief is the release of Love.
The pain in your throat when you grieve is the same pain I felt during Hannah and Wes’s wedding. Perhaps it is because I was holding back my tears.
Perhaps the tears that come from inspiration, reflection and beauty are also a release of Love. They come from years of taking for granted, the things that life can only reveal. Things that are exposed when we get together for those few events in all our lives where we are forced to reflect on what is important…. people’s lives and the love for each other.
Joel, in his beautiful oratory, mentioned how old is actually new. You are the newest manifestation of your self. I believe that love is the ultimate evolution of life. It represents the newest universal manifestation that exists because of life.
And during this wedding, and during the reception, and during the toasts, and during the explosive cake reveal, and during everything and behind every story and behind every person’s personal adventure that led them to these moments in this castle, in Uzès, France, there is a story of pain. The pain and challenges of international travel, the financial pain of getting to a very specific and special remote place on the other side of the planet for a 30-minute ceremony, the pain of sitting on a plane for 20 hours, multiple connections, the pain of not understanding languages in other countries, the pain of jet lag, the pain of planning, bad planning, miss-guided transportation fiasco’s, the pain of filling up your rental car with gas before you return it, the pain of driving in French cities, the pain of sketchy internet.
But, these are pains that we can tolerate without emotion, if we choose. These are pains that we endure for family and friends. These are growing pains. We are not just obligated, but excited for these adventures. At worst, we are just, merely exhausted because of these things. Eventually, we laugh and are proud of these things as we go through life. We overcome. These are the pains that we endure to expose ourselves to fulfilling lives.
But the pain I felt in my throat before and during the wedding, and you perhaps feel in yours as you read this, is the result of being present in life, it comes unexpectedly, when you are touched by words and the air of love that you feel and the things you see and hear…. that is not just the pain of life. That is love. Let it out.
Tears to Hannah and Wes!!