Nine years ago today was supposed to be my second chance. The start of my happily ever after. Instead of celebrating another year, I’ve sat with a lump of unacknowledged grief wedged in my chest and a work day that has reinforced feelings of not being enough.
My bridesmaid sends me a message. “Are you doing ok today?” She is the only one who was both there and isn’t afraid of my emotions. She knows that his secret addiction impacted my lifelong depression to a point where the only option was to abandon my fairytale.
The receptionist at work is celebrating her birthday. Someone brought her pink tulips, almost the exact shade my bridesmaid carried. I tell her how beautiful they are and how they are my favourite flower. I don’t say “still” or “despite everything” because my story is a tightly held secret that I’m sure has been fuel for speculation. No one ever asks what happened but you can see the question in the way their eyes slide away from my face if I mention him.
I can tell my bridesmaid the truth about how rough I’m finding the day. She holds the space for me to grieve openly.
If I’m ready to.
Which I’m not.
The grief will be shelved again tomorrow, while I carry on with my new life. Next year, when I pull it out, it’ll be smaller and slightly easier to carry.