The Prom Dress…

Physical activity and grief don’t mix.

I have been good.  I’ve been to the gym.  I’ve been to Zumba.  I’ve walked so much I discovered I desperately need new running shoes.  Hell, I even took my kids on a neighbourhood clean up!

Today, however, with the lawyers and the bankers and the auctioneers set to sell off a lifetime of my mother’s belongings, the bath and the wine seemed more attractive.  I think God will forgive me.

Grief is all consuming.  I thought I had weathered a big part of it… I’ve certainly complained on this blog enough.  A tantrum today over my mother’s junior prom dress, which six months from now I will wonder why I ever wanted it, proved otherwise. 

My sister and I have dealt with the bulk of the house.  All that remains is my mother’s hope chest, but it contains the biggest landmines.  It holds the mysteries of things she kept but never told us why.  It holds the family histories: the photos, the documents, the letters and the general flotsam of which we will never know the significance.  It holds the damn prom dress.

I don’t even understand my attachment.  There are two dresses.  The prom dress, a green that, while a currently unfashionable shade, is one that suits my colouring and my mother’s, and her wedding dress.  That dress is one that I have always regretted not wearing myself and one that I changed the dress I did buy to emulate.  My sister has already agreed to give me the wedding gown.  Why then is the stupid prom dress so important?

I don’t have daughters that will want these things.  The Girl is very unlikely to want them and, realistically, neither am I.  The prom dress was worn by a woman I didn’t know with a gawky date long lost to history.  The wedding dress was the start of the life that produced me.  Why then am I even considering offering up the wedding gown in exchange?

Grief is irrational.  I am irrational.  Why do I want the stupid dress?

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4 Responses to The Prom Dress…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Before you make a decision about the dresses, consider this. Someday you'll have grandchildren. Christening gowns made from the material of her dress would be a lovely way to pass a piece of your mother down from generation to generation.

  2. robertfrpp says:

    O dear. LinkedIn sent me a note mentioning your name, so I looked you up, read that post, and wrote a comment to your "prom dress" challenge. I thought it was a fairly good comment, so I clicked the Preview button and the whole thing disappeared. You may have a glitch.O well, Robert email hidden; JavaScript is required (Toronto)

  3. Michelle says:

    Perhaps it is the mystery that surrounds the prom dress that intrigues you. The unknowns, the potentials never realized, the people connected to it never known. The wedding dress holds tangible history and much talked about memories, while the prom dress holds a part of your mother you never knew and wish you had. Either way, let yourself grieve and feel feelings that come naturally. Logic is rarely a component of any strong emotion. As always, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family xo

  4. Atlantic Writer says:

    I like that idea Michelle… I think that is exactly why I had such emotion around the dress… it represents the parts of my mother I didn't know, and now never will. Well said, thanks for the insight. Robert, sorry to hear there was a glitch… I've never had a report of that happening before but will look out for a problemThanks too for the idea of a Christening gown made from the wedding dress. I will remember that one.

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