10 years ago, May 19, 2000, I married my college sweetheart. We'd been engaged one day shy of 6 months, had just moved into a new house, and I had (only 4 days prior) started a new job. It was a bit of a whirlwind.
Our wedding ceremony clocked in at 27 minutes, something our mid-20's friends REALLY appreciated. After a bit of a delay for pictures, Amanda and I took an English taxi to Henrico County's Belmont Golf Course for our reception. There was a vicious thunderstorm outside while we ate cake and danced and acted silly inside.
At the end of the reception, we gathered with our friends on the back patio at the facility and burned enormous illegal sparklers, then retired to our house for even more partying.
The next day, after everyone left, we took our sweet time packing for Asheville, pausing to open a number of really awesome gifts (including a bunch of Star Wars Lego sets!). We spent days in Asheville, staying at the Grove Park Inn and visiting the Biltmore and Chimney Rock Park. We decided then & there to return for our 5th anniversary (whereupon we further decided to return for our 10th).
And then we spent almost 9 years of wedded bliss together.
And then she died.
My plan for today had been to return to Asheville in her absence. Maybe take Alastair, maybe not. I had wanted to scatter her ashes at Chimney Rock.
But that would mean planning it. And planning to discard her ashes (which aren't even in my care) is just too much to consider. She's gone, and I know that, and sentimentality is not the same as memory, but letting go is so damned hard. I recently opened her closet to help a friend find a dress for a wedding. I was horrified to discover that some of her clothes are already moth-eaten, but they're still her clothes. Which is dumb, because there's no more "her".
It's so much easier to just leave the closet closed.