the Dress

Sometimes I forget reality.

Today I realized in my latest closet purge I tossed all my dresses except a couple ones.  Cottony ones I wear around the house when its hot, a prom dress, the bridesmaid’s dress from my sister’s wedding and a white dress my grams wore dancing that is so hauntingly like Marilyn Monroe it isn’t even funny.

All of them.

Not that I wear dresses. I have never been that girl. I don’t like dresses.  It seems the only time we wear them is at uncomfortable events.  Events like weddings where we try not to spill wine or wobbly in our heels as we pretend we are fancy.  Events like interviews where we strive to show the side of ourselves we feel is best & most like what the company needs.  Places where we wear them out of respect.  A time where we dress up in honor of the life we are there to remember.  A way to somehow silently say that although they are gone, their life mattered.

As much as it scares me and I want to avoid thinking about it, one of those moments is always around the corner.  Made blaringly clear everytime I walk through my parents door and am greeted by the orange DNR pasted on the side of the fridge so its the first thing anyone sees.

Maybe I want to push that event so far away that unconsciencely I tossed the appropriate dresses.  Maybe for a moment I got so caught up in living that I forgot I would need them.   Made space for happier outfits for happier times.  I don’t even remember donating them.  For that matter I don’t even remember wearing them.

Now I need one of those dresses.

Thankfully not for the one event I am dreading most, but to support friends as they deal with their own dreaded event.

I know how silly and self centered it sounds to be blogging about stress of what to wear to someone else’s event.  Is just that in trying to figure out how to show them I care and do what I can to help them get through…. I realize how unprepared I really am for when I stand in similar shoes.

Doubt we ever can be.

But there are a few things I think we all should do just in case.

Make happy memories to get us through the hard times.  Pay attention to the uniqueness of each of us and how special each person is in their own way…. you will miss them when they aren’t there, but do you know why?

Spend time together while you can yet become who you are to be.  Show them you will be ok.  They have made you the person you are and for that they can take pride.  In the end, they shouldn’t have to worry if you will be ok.  Let them go on secure and proud.

Make peace.  It will happen.  As much as we would trade our own tomorrows to make it not, it will.  Don’t endlessly focus on it, but don’t let it sneak up on you and shock you.  It will be a shock.  Just don’t let it be a regret.  Know you did what you could & said what you need to.

… and always keep ready.  Have and keep on hand the black dress.  The last thing you will want to do is to have to shop for it when the time comes.

When my grams passed she left very specific instructions.  Celebrate.  She took delight in raising caterpillers into butterflies, something she seemed to do in everyone she met as well.  Smiles were never optional if you stayed around her long enough.  So butterflies were released by her family at the gravesite.  We ended up laughing through the tears.  Just as she intended.

Did I mention she requested we all dress in pink? Will always be her favorite color & remind us of her.

 

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