This is a question I've been avoiding for a while.
On paper, it seems a nice idea to have a candle or a sign - perhaps even some photographs - of loved ones who have died and so are unable to attend your wedding day. My problem is that I don't particularly love my alcoholic Mother who drank herself to death when I was 13.
WedMagazine.co.uk is one of the many sites that have heartfelt articles on remembering your deceased family members and I think the idea of honouring someone close, especially when they have helped shaped who you are today, is a lovely tribute. This particular article talks about mentioning them in the order of service, using their favourite flowers or piece of jewellery. The only proposition suitable for my dead mum is raising a glass to her but I'm not sure saying "Cheers" to so someone so dependent to booze it cost them their marriage, dignity and life is something worth writing home about.
Part of writing my blog is to help me understand and process how I feel and what I think about certain issues or situations. It is also a great opportunity to hear your honest feedback through social media and the comments below. I guess what might seem alien is that even though she finally died in 2003, I don't think I have forgiven her. In fact, I'm still quite annoyed with her. It's not the anger I felt when I was a teenager - time has mellowed this pain to that of a mild itch.
I remember sitting on the hospital bed in which my Mum died and holding her hand. I told her that despite everything that had happened, I forgave her. I didn't really forgive her and I still don't but I couldn't let her die thinking her only Son hated her. I was 13.
|I was on BBC's Victoria Derbyshire - Click for more|
We've already decided that at our wedding there will be 'nods' and elements highlighting mental health; so important to the journey that the bride and I have made to reach this day. Just in case you haven't seen my mug on TV, heard my effeminate voice on radio or my trotters on the stage: my story starts as a carer for an alcoholic Mother and leads into mental health as a teen and adult suffering workplace discrimination culminating in a suicide attempt in 2015.
Given that my Mother played a key role in creating a dysfunction home of my childhood which in turn warped the cogs of my mind and altered my programming - should I be thanking her? As an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, I know forgiveness and learning to love again is key. However, I will never really know the what and the whys that drove my mum to find relief in her dry white wine. Continues Below...
There were 5,821 suicides last year. 75% were by men or boys.#WorldSuicidePreventionDay https://t.co/Ty36MB4Bod— Matt Streuli (@mattstreuli) September 10, 2018
All of this brings me back to the idea of remembering that lost loved one. They helped shape who you are today. There can be no doubt that the actions and inactions of my Mother were a huge influence in the avenues my life has travelled. Perhaps rather than raising a glass, I could raise a middle finger? Despite everything, look how far I've come and look how far I will go.
After everything, she is my Mother.