I have written about my road to firstly accepting my divorce and finally flourishing after years of wallowing. My final hurdle is the billowing meringue of a 1980’s wedding dress that sits in its box at the top of a wardrobe. The last reminder. The piece I seem not to be able to let go. The past regrets, the guilt, the hurt and the disbelief have all faded into a not forgotten but a no longer badgering past. But this? This dress…it won’t let go.
I have decluttered that particular cupboard a number of times. It’s not as if it has any use. It is tragically out of fashion with a plunging V-neck, a backless back and layers of frothy white lace and super-puffy sleeves.
I could donate it to a charity but I fear it would end up as a fancy dress costume for a 80’s themed cruise or part of a zombie apocalypse parade.
The catch is not so much to do with my failed marriage but more with my Mum’s effort to make it. That and the five bridesmaids’ dresses.
That dress was a labour of my mother’s love. She was a seamstress and wedding dresses were her thing. We spent many hours designing it. We made visits to bridal stores where I tried on dresses and Mum secretly took notes and made sketches in the dressing room to copy the pattern. She had to make so many alterations because I wanted the front plunging and for it to have no back. Short of using sticky tape to keep it on, this was a major feat in engineering. On top of that, I kept on losing weight – as brides tend to do even though I was already quite thin.
But she did it. My dad cried as he walked past the room as Mum was tying the big wide sash around my tiny waist.
My wedding day was wet. The rain pelted down, the dress got dirty at the hem. I have never tried it on again after that day. Not even for an anniversary. These days I’m 12 kilos heavier than then and a very different shape.
It’s just gotta go….but I can’t make that step. It just needs to vanish without a trace.