I’ve only seen three dead bodies in my life. The first was when I was 12 years old and my grandfather died at age 69. It was the first time I ever saw my father cry. At the funeral home, my sister was brave enough to reach out and touch my grandfather’s hand as it rested on his torso. Back in our seats, I asked her what his skin felt like. “Plastic,” she said.
As part of my work, I have meetings and conversations with couples prior to their weddings. We don't just plan the ceremony. We also use an inventory which purports to measure the couple's "Strengths" and "Growth Areas." The inventory gives us many possibilities for conversations that we can have about their relationship.
The bifurcation of the agreed-upon version of life has an extra layer of meaning for me. Not only did it help me to understand what is happening as a parent, but it’s helping me with my own story-telling, as a daughter.