My closest friend killed herself some years ago. Her fiance is a lovely man, and we kept in touch for a while. He and his next GF (who is more compatiable with him than my friend ever was) came to our wedding reception a few years ago.
My dilemma is this: they are getting married soon, and we have been invited to their wedding reception. I said yes, however the closer it gets the more I realise that I, while I am happy for them, I am sad about my friend and don't think I can face it.
Do you think it would be acceptable for me to tell a white lie and not attend, rather than turn up and possibly burst into tears? I don't want to tell them why I'm feeling sad because I don't want anything to spoil their day.
Do you think you could email / write to him and say exactly what you said here? I think he would appreciate that more than a (possibly see-through) excuse, esp. if you have already accepted the invitation.
If they're having lots of people at the reception, the chances are that if you did need a weep, you could scuttle off to the loo without being noticed - they'll be much occupied and have their attention elsewhere. And you wouldn't need to explain why you were upset anyway: "I always cry at weddings" would do .
I can understand you not wanting to go after all, however, but if it's soon and a sit-down type reception, then it's a bit rude not to. However, it doesn't sound like you're that close friends, so maybe ducking out won't be a big deal.
In these circumstances a white lie is preferable to you not being able to fully celebrate their union, but I'm wondering if you could view your attendance as standing in for your friend and gving her blessing as well as your own to her former fiance's marriage?
As buzz has said, tears are a given at weddings and if you shed any no-one will view them as being anything out of the ordinary unless you tell others why youre sobbing.
The wedding is this weekend. They were planning their wedding when she died, which is why it's so hard. I'm finding this way more painful than I ever thought I would, otherwise I wouldn't have accepted the invitation in the first place.
Trente, it has occurred to me that he will be thinking of her too.
You should go. Because it will exorcise the demons that are haunting you. This is a new beginning for him. You like him. You may not be ready to say goodbye to your friend, but he is and frankly, if he can eek some joy out of this life after having lost his fiancee, who are you to argue?
And blub away. If you need to step out, do so. But be genuinely happy. I doubt your friend would have wanted him to be unhappily alone for ever. Even if she couldn't be happy in life, she would have had the compassion to want him to be.
Good, so having accepted that, you should go, not only for him but because you honour your friend in going on to experience joys that she missed out on. One of which is seeing people in love being married.
Or you can pull out but you'll have to explain yourself and that will only make both of you sad.
I think it's appalling form to think about backing out now. I mean, table plans have been done, food paid for etc. Your friend getting married and your friend dying are two separate issues. Do you begrudge your friend celebrating Christmas, birthdays etc ? He cant be beholden forever for the tragedy that happened previously. He has moved on and is celebrating the fact that he still has a life and new partner. For a minute I dont doubt he hasnt forgotten his previous love. You cant expect him to wallow in misery for the sake of upsetting her memory. You should go and enjoy the day for what it is, it doesnt take away from what happened before, if anything it emphasises the fact that he is now in a much better place. Be thankful for that.
But to give you another point of view. I'm the new woman. DH's first wife died (from cancer) and at the wedding I know that 60% of the people there were still grieving her and it was really bloody hard for me thinking I was being compared (and unfavourably). Because you can't ever compete against someone who has died because suddenly their flaws are all brushed away among those left behind.
Look if you don't want to go, don't. But if you aren't going to at least tell him why. He will understand.
I think telling him the truth before the wedding would be rude and would only sere in absolving the guilt the Op feels. It can only upset her friend. Why not tell him afterwards if she feels she needs to? I would just say I was ill, I don't even remeber my wedding tbh with feeling all out of it on the day and it was very small. The groom will barely miss her.
To be honest, i would recommend - and this is always my advice for wedding guests- to avoid doing anything that might LOOK or be CONSTRUED as making someone else's day 'all about you'. As you have accepted, take a deep breath, a slug of champagne, stick a huge grin on your face and do your best to make your friend and the groom proud. He - and some of the other guests - will know what you are going through. And crying is totally acceptable at the wedding (you know, unless its on the bride's shoulder, going, 'It should have been her!'
Go. Your friend will certainly not be forgotten, quite the opposite I would have thought. She will be in your mind, and definitely in the mind of the groom in this new phase of his life. Yes it will bring up painful memories but a bit if discreet crying at a wedding is standard. If you do decide you can't go, please just tell the groom directly that you are genuinely happy for him but have had a wobble. He will understand. Then, if you do change your mind I'm sure he will be delighted to see you.
I'd go. If you get the chance, say to the groom, "You know how much I loved X and how much I miss her. I'm so glad you've met Bride, though. You and she are so well suited and it's clear how much you love each other. I know you'll be really happy together."
Thanks everyone for your comments. I've been thinking about this since I posted (been out for a meal with DH and MIL) and know that I'm not sad about the wedding, I'm sad that my friend is still dead. Milestones of any kind are still difficult, despite the years that have passed.
Chocolate, I'm sorry to hear what you went through. I will (as far as I know) be the only person at the wedding who was part of his 'old' life, and I'm not judging his bride against my friend. WishIwere, it has occurred to me that I'm merely a 'duty invite', but there's nothing I can do about that if it is.
I will go, and I like what you said Blether. They fit together in a way he and my friend didn't, and I know that she has helped him through his own grief.