Grief & Loss,  Love

Moving Forward, Not Moving On

“Are you ready to taste wine?” asked Bill Frick, owner of Frick Winery. Frick Winery is a boutique winery in Dry Creek Valley, near Sonoma, California, and my favorite winery. I had insisted we visit it on our one day wine-tasting trip back in March.

“Yes!” the four of us chorused.

He placed three tasting glasses on the counter, and then he said, “I have a special glass for Pritam.”

He placed another glass on the counter. I glanced at it, and noticed a telltale small black bag from Edmonds’ Comstock Jewelers inside of it. In an instant, I knew what was about to happen and I started freaking out. I may have said, “Oh my god” multiple times!

Next thing I know, Eric is down on one knee, with the wineglass in his hand, asking me to marry him. Of course, I said yes! As soon as he stood up, I burst into tears. The ring had yet to make it out of the wineglass onto my finger, but the tears were unstoppable.

So much emotion in those tears. I wish I could say it was because here was the perfect man at the perfect time asking me to share his life and love with him and I was so happy I cried tears of joy . . . but life is more complex than that. The range of emotions I was experiencing in that moment, encompassed joy, surprise, love, but also somewhere deep down, the remembrance that three years before I was sitting alone in my house certain I was going to die from the pain of losing my husband Dan.

At that time, I was certain I could never be happy again.

Life really is unpredictable, because here I am, happy.

Yet there is no instance that I don’t view through the prism of losing Dan, even a perfect joyous event such as this one. Most of us grow and are shaped throughout life by what we experience, and we become wiser and more mature because of it. The horrific pain I experienced and the grieving process I went through actually enables me to sit here three and a half years out, able to say that I have deeper and more meaningful appreciation for all of the good and the fun and the happiness that has re-entered my life.

My grief counselor, with whom I still speak, earlier this year told me “moving forward, not moving on, is good.” I will never move on from Dan. But I have moved further forward than I ever could have imagined!

And Eric, who set up the perfect proposal for me at my favorite winery involving the winemaker himself Bill Frick, witnessed by friend and stranger alike, and forever captured on video and camera by our friends who he had tipped off only an hour before. A day–and a man–I will hold close to my heart forever!

Here was the perfect man at the perfect time asking me to share his life and love with him, and I was so happy I cried tears of joy . . .

Previously published on My Edmonds News

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