The Love We Shared

Share with others:

Hi Everyone,

37 years ago today, I walked down the aisle wearing my mother’s Priscilla of Boston wedding dress and my mother-in-law’s beautiful, hand-beaded crown, and stood under the Chuppah (Wedding Canopy) with my beloved, Andy Trattner, as we joined hands and united our hearts in marriage.

Andy and I wrote our own wedding vows– “I promise to share with you in times of joy as in times of sorrow; to talk and to listen; to honor and to appreciate you; to provide for and support you in trust and in love” which I wrote in our Ketubah  (Jewish Wedding Contract), and incorporated into the ‘I Promise’– one of my first-ever pieces of lettering art.

The “I Promise” vows helped guide us throughout the 29 years we were married. {If you like these vows, and would like to use them for a wedding or anniversary Ketubah, please check out the design and text options in my new CalligraphersInkEtsyShop.}

The love that Andy and I shared lives on in my heart and has inspired me to work towards changing the culture of grief in America. This began on one of the worst days of my life– my 30th wedding anniversary, June 27th, 2012. It was the first anniversary since Andy died, and I felt SO alone. When you lose someone you love, birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are emotional triggers. They remind us of the void in our lives, and can send us into a tailspin. I was distraught–in part because it was my 30th wedding anniversary and my husband wasn’t here to share it with me, and in part because despite having friends and family who love me, NO ONE– not my parents, not my in-laws, not my children, not my friends – mentioned it. I was devastated. I didn’t understand at the time that no one said anything to me because they didn’t want to upset me or make me cry. They didn’t understand that NOT acknowledging our special anniversary, or giving me the opportunity to talk about how much I missed Andy, further isolated me in my grief.

Eventually I realized that if my friends and family– who love me and want to be there for me– didn’t know how to help me on my grief journey, then other people who were grieving most likely weren’t getting the type of support they needed, either. Although I had no idea how to become an advocate for change, I decided that day to try to make a difference in Andy’s memory. It’s one way that I keep his legacy alive.

If you know someone who has recently lost a loved one (and since grief is a lifelong journey, by recent I mean within the past couple of YEARS), there are ways that you can help. Creating a sacred space for people to talk and companioning someone on their grief journey makes a huge difference. We need to be able to share stories about our loved ones; to hear their names spoken; to know that we are not the only one who remembers them. In Andy’s memory I am actively working to develop tools that can be used to support people who are grieving, as well as creating commemorative art to bring comfort, hope and healing to those who have lost someone they love. You can find my art and blog posts along with many helpful free resources on my website, www.WhenYouLoseSomeone.com. Please share it with those you know who are grieving or supporting someone on their grief journey.

In honor of our 37th anniversary, I wanted to share a page from one of my morning journals:

Please leave a comment to let me know what I can do to help you support someone on their grief journey, and/or how I can support you on yours.

You are NOT alone,

Joanne

 

,


Share with others:

2 Comments

  1. You’re amazing. Just creating this page alone is something that will be helpful to so many. I was married for 34 years and lost my husband 3 years ago. His death was preceded by my daughters death just 10 months prior. I’m raising her little boy since birth, he’s severely autistic, every day is a struggle sometimes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *