A Place of Acceptance

April 10, 2006

Over the weekend I traveled to Chicago to see a holy union ceremony between one of my oldest friends and his partner. Quite simply it was a beautiful service performed in an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and understanding. Normally I am not a church going person; the rote rituals and dogmatic following of traditions don't interest me. However, I would make an exception for the Broadway United Methodist Church of Chicago. The air of inclusion and acceptance there was palpable. The ministers and congregation didn't just give lip service to these ideals, they lived them. It was a place that Michele would have dearly loved and appreciated. Were we to ever live close enough to attend regularly she would have wanted to join.

Going to such a life affirming celebration was surprisingly difficult. I hadn't consciously prepared myself for the pang of grief that came over me midway through the ceremony. I was crying because I missed Michele, and because she missed J's wedding day. And I was crying because seeing the love shared by the two J's reminded me that my life's love is gone. A part of me wonders whether I'll ever be so fortunate as to be in a deeply loving and caring relationship like that again.

With the slow passage of time I am growing more accepting of my new position in life. Moreover I am increasingly accepting of the fact that I will have to move on from the place where I am at currently, I cannot know what the future looks like for me, and I am not yet done mourning the loss of the future I had envisioned for Michele and myself, but I can accept that the shadows of my grief are slowly being replaced by the dawning sunlight of a new lease on life.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.