Enduring loss together… (Marriage Letters)

Dear Colin,

Experiencing loss together has been an easy thing for us. A sort of handful of sand we throw in the sea of other troubles we’ve experienced together but have sailed through gracefully. Like loss of patience, and your ability to lose our directions places, my ability to lose all reverence for your feelings…

Actually, the reason “loss” has been an easy thing in our marriage is because we haven’t really experienced real loss. And thank God!

…Because I know it’s rare. There are all kinds of mean loss that have destroyed the marriages, families, friendships, and faith of people we know – physically leaving a gaping hole in their lives, and emotionally numbing them; All the while causing an aching unending scream in their souls. Sometimes, it’s almost like we can hear it… and somehow, our marriage has known to run from it, to maybe escape the possibility that that could happen to us.

But if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to accept that it could happen to us. Because we’re not above those whose lives are controlled by a hand larger than our own.

When I think of it, our “not experiencing much loss” has really lightened our burden to “endure together”… because God, I can only imagine the extreme gravitational pull to rip us apart in the name of endurance. The kind of shredding of vows and promises and prayers we’ve witnessed of friends and acquaintances. Many of them are strong, much stronger than I could ever hope us to be. But I don’t envy them. I don’t wish us in their situation ever. Because I don’t know if we’ll be as strong; alone, my ability to rise to the occasion ends when the occasion is not a celebratory one that includes champagne and a DJ.

Maybe if loss were simple we could walk into it confidently knowing we’d come out on the other side better for it. Maybe if its side effects ended with time. Or if its unrest would settle with a heavy dose of sleep and prayer.

I suppose life is much too creative to make loss a simple matter. Loss is always complicated, always without warning, and always within one quick sweep of destabilizing your entire being. It scares the shit out of me.

So when it happens, when loss knocks at our door, we will brace ourselves, but we won’t be ready. You can’t be ready. And we won’t be prepared because there is no way to prepare.

The only thing we can do is promise the same promise we made in our vows on our wedding day, and the same promise we made again to one another last week in the fine unedited print of our Marriage Letters: to love each other as hard as we can.

And pray… pray that whatever endurance of loss we may face in the future, it will spare our marriage and let us come out together. I’m sure, above all else, we can come out together.

Love, Your wife. I’ll always be by your side.

Enduring loss together | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

Photo from 2007 taken outside the Orpheum Theater where we saw Dashboard Confessional and Jack's Mannequin play. That night I remember thinking two things: When is he going to kiss me, and, I never ever want to leave this moment. Nearly five years later, it doesn't feel like I have.

Marriage letters | The Runamuck BlogThe Hubstud and I have joined Scott and Joy, and others in the “married with confusion” boat by writing letters to the person who stands beside us, loves us, and forgives us time and time again; calling our marriages for what they are… hard work. But worth every effort. And believing that when you go hard after your marriage, I’m encouraged to go after mine.

I was deeply encouraged by the kind comments and feedback to last week’s letter. If your new to my blog or the Marriage Letters, you might also like to read: I trust you because… (Marriage Letters) and don’t forget Colin’s letter this week. I promise you, it’s a real treat: Marriage Letters. PART TWO. Enduring loss together….

And consider writing your own Marriage Letter (maybe even to your future spouse) and adding it to the linky on Joy’s blog this week.

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