A Dress for My Ex’s Funeral

This is probably really bad for my karma but…….

For Mother’s day my eldest son and his GF took me to brunch at a restaurant in the city.   The restaurant didn’t take reservations, so we wandered around while waiting for our table.  The section of the city is the current up and coming area, so it is a mix of old and new, more old than new.  We walked by a tailors shop and in the window was the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen.  It was clearly meant to be a wedding dress, in an ivory bordering on a subtle yellow hue, with a train long enough to be noticed but not ostentatious.  It was the perfect mix of delicate, antique lace, with a tiny bit of beading and just the right amount of sparkle.  It was also the shape that works well on me.  It was a good thing it was a Sunday and the shop was closed.  If it had been open I would have been trying that dress on and who knows……

I hated my wedding dress.  Well, hate is a strong word.  I didn’t care for my wedding dress.

I started the dress shopping experience with my mother, and she took to me an expensive boutique.  I’ve never been a girly  girl, never dreamed about my wedding or wedding dress, never did my nails or hair, and here I was in this shop sipping champagne while ladies literally put the 1st dress on me.  I felt them button it and felt that it fit like a second skin.  When I walked out to see myself in the mirror I was flabbergasted.  It was beautiful.  I was beautiful.  Everything about it was simply stunningly perfect.  Aside from the love I feel for my children, I don’t think I’ve ever had such an immediate intense love as I did for that dress.  It was also 2x the allotted budget.  I took it off not with sadness but with a new sense of possibility.  If the 1st dress I tried on was absolute perfection, perhaps I was more of a girly girl than I thought.  Surely I’d find one I loved just as much.  Maybe this new phase of my life was the one in which I came to feel comfortable in my own skin; became the best version of me.

Three months later, after trying on practically every dress in the tri-state area, my mother offered to buy me the 1st dress.  I pondered it for a second but said no.  A dress that I would wear for 10 hours was not worth that much money.  I found a dress that looked cute on me, was less than budget, and I bought it.  I’m not a girly girl, I thought.  I don’t have to be a princess to be happy, I don’t live the fairy tale; I live in the real world.


Maybe, after 28 years of compromises, frugality, and personal sacrifice,  I don’t live in that world anymore.  Maybe my new life has me wearing the dress of my dreams.

As I go through the process of selling my old house and moving into my new one everything is falling into place really, really well.  (hopefully not too well!)  I purchased a home in the development my son and I wanted all along, but couldn’t afford 5 months ago.  Just as our house sold, the house we wanted dropped in price. Not only did the price drop, but much of the work the property needed had been done by the owners.   They accepted my offer in 24 hours and all I could think was – the inspection will be terrible.  It wasn’t.  In fact, every quote I’ve gotten, like moving and flooring, has been within my means, and available in the short time frame I’m allotted.  The vision I have of myself in this home is a vision filled with joy, peace and a new sense of myself.  It is not the vision I’ve had for the past 3 years, a vision filled with fear, accepting less than I wanted, comprising because I had no option.  My life is exploding with options, and for the first time in forever I feel like I am in control of my destiny.

The last time I felt this calm, centered, sure and beautiful, was when I stood in that shop wearing that dress.  Except this time I’m not walking away; this time I’m getting what I want.

My cousin was here yesterday helping me organize boxes for the move.  As is usually the case we got to talking about my ex, and she joked about how the next time I’d be happy to see him will be at his funeral.  That made me think of the dress, and how much I’d love to wear something like on that day.  Hence my fear of bad karma…….

I wouldn’t actually do that, much as I’d like to.  It would be terribly hurtful to my children.

I can’t help wondering though, is this my future, a time in which I get the beautiful dress?  After slogging through the shit storm of my marriage, the deluge of health issues and the loss of myself, after the fighting and pain of the divorce, his betrayal, his cold, calculated abandonment, have I made it through to the other side?

When I first saw that dress I told my kids, “I want to be buried in that dress”.

Today I realized I want to live in that dress.

2 thoughts on “A Dress for My Ex’s Funeral

  1. Bless you Murphy. Bless your heart honey.

    That brought happy, joy filled tears to my eyes…

    We truly do have much to be thankful for! Not the least of which is freedom from the horrible treatment we were dealt by our abusers!

    WE ARE FREE HONEY!!!! 😀 Free to live wonderful lives all the rest of our days! In the sunshine, dancing in the rain and breathing in the sweet air 🙂 Free of their darkness, we walk in light and love 🙂

    Get it girl 🙂


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