Two weeks ago, I began the process of cleaning out; pulling things out from closets and under beds in preparation for packing and moving. Several things were hiding I haven’t thought about in a while. Out of sight, out of mind.
My wedding portrait was one of those items under the bed. It was a Christmas gift from my mother in 2010. Three months later, I was separated. The portrait was never hung. So it here was in front of me again. And again, as I did 2 ½ years ago, wondered what in the hell to do with it. I posted on FB for feedback (I needed non-biased opinions). I got 27 comments on that post. But one friends’ comment really resonated with me. She suggested I keep it, but give it to my mom saying, “There’s old and negative energy attached to it. Having it in your space is holding on to bad “juju.”…Keeping that around may be hampering efforts to move forward in your life, particularly in your love life…” Do I believe in bad mojo or “juju” as she said? I’m not sure, but I do know my dating luck has been horrible. I started really thinking about this.
This lead to more purging. I dug out my wedding gown (stock photo above), which has been stashed in the back of a closet for 10 years. Again, what to do with it? I have no daughter or nieces that would ever want it and they are very hard to sell. Yet, it’s the most expensive item of clothing I’ll ever own and I paid for it myself. One friend suggested we have a paint ball fight in it. HA… I’m not angry anymore and the gown didn’t cause the demise of my marriage. I thought it deserved better than being dumped at a thrift store. I started researching places to donate wedding gowns.
This past Friday, I came across some charities accepting old wedding dresses to make “angel gowns.” Angel gowns are outfits for still-born babies or babies that never make it home from the hospital. They may either be a burial gown or a keepsake for the family. A friend lost a baby just last year; together, we found a place to donate my dress. I wanted to keep it as local as possible and found a seamstress in Raleigh accepting gowns to make the angel dresses. That night, I also decided to take the portrait to my mom’s, along with the wedding photo albums. I felt a huge load off of my heart almost immediately.
I woke up Saturday morning ready to do more purging. I found a box for the wedding dress. I packed it and taped it up. Without much warning, the tears started flowing. I probably cried for a good 10 minutes. And I didn’t even know why.
I wasn’t like most little girls. I never dreamed of my wedding day or wearing a wedding dress. I didn’t take hours upon hours shopping for it and I didn’t cry when I bought it (that well-known scene from Say Yes to the Dress where the bride is so overcome that she’s found THE dress). And I knew it had nothing to do with the marriage. I was done with that the minute I kicked him out the door. So why all this emotion?? I pondered that the rest of the day and into Sunday.
I believe the stress of packing and moving, on top of the recent (and past) bad dating experiences, lead to a slap-in-the-face realization and strong possibility I may never wear another wedding gown or find that special someone. Letting go of this gown was letting go of something I may never have again. Very hard to swallow, even for someone who never really thought of having one to begin with. It was truly an exhausting day.
I feel better today. I dropped the portrait and albums off at moms and the gown is in the mail. I said my farewell. Maybe my prince will come; maybe he’s fallen into quick sand. It really doesn’t matter. None of that possible bad “juju” will be entering my new home.
The seamstress said she would send a picture of the angel gowns when they are complete. Maybe this was the gown’s true calling and it was just waiting for me to let it go.