Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Deepest Sorrow

I am not sure this story is appropriate for my blog. It's not funny, it's not joyous, and it has nothing to do with my daughter. But my heart is so heavy, almost suffocating, pulling me into a place of despair I do not know how to navigate. 

I told part of this story last summer when I wrote about a wedding that David had the unique opportunity to officiate. I wrote these words, "David spent the next 20 minutes performing the most beautiful ceremony, helping two wonderful people begin their lives together." As with so many couples, Alan and Brittney had a story. The path to finding each other had been a long and arduous journey, giving them each the unique insight to know just how precious their relationship was. And they let us share in that day.

We were especially endeared to Alan and Brittney, perhaps because they reminded us so much of ourselves. A love for each other, a passion for the outdoors, and a commitment to building a life that mattered. And they were so in love. 

On the day of their wedding, I took this picture of Alan. We were on a boat, headed to the secluded shore that would serve as the backdrop for their ceremony. His eyes scanned the shoreline, watching for any glimpse of his bride. As with many grooms, Alan was nervous, fidgety, restless. But he was also at peace, confident that he was about to begin his life's journey with the person who truly was his other half.  When their eyes finally met, I watched him. His shoulders relaxed, his smile broadened, he knew. This day was magic. And it was. 

In an instant, it was shattered, broken in a way I will never understand. Alan was killed in a car accident on Monday night while on his way home from work. He leaves behind his bride of just a year, and a precious newborn baby daughter. The night we found out, I laid in bed next to David, listening to the deep swells of his breathing. I sobbed, crushed under the weight of knowing Brittney slept alone that night.

I hadn't seen Brittney since their wedding. The last vision I had of her was so radiant, so full of life. As I entered the church, I saw her standing among dozens of friends and family, all gathered to show their love and support. She was gracious and kind, thanking everyone profusely for attending.

We hugged, and the tears immediately began to flow. As with everyone there, I just kept telling her how sorry I was, how brokenhearted I was, how incomprehensible this was. She leaned in and whispered, "Amy, our fairy tale wasn't supposed to end like this. It just wasn't supposed to end like this."

No, it wasn't. It wasn't supposed to be like this at all.

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