A few days ago, a dear relative passed away. My mom and I were by her bedside from Sunday night until the time of her death, in the late afternoon on Tuesday. We barely slept, keeping vigil all day and night, not knowing when the time of her last breath would come or if she could feel the pain of the massive heart attack she had endured and which later sent her lungs into an irreversible state of failure.
Death is never something that you know how to deal with until it happens. One of the last things Dorothy said before she entered the hospital perfectly captures her dry sense of humor, her wit, her flawless charm. Watching coverage for the upcoming Royal Wedding, she joked to one of her nurse’s aids that, heaven forbid, her own invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. Dorothy could make you laugh with her one-liners so deliberate in their dead-pan delivery that you never knew if you had heard her correctly. Dorothy’s 91-year-old life was marked by her unwavering generosity, her love for making others happy, and her subtle sense of humor that was truly magnetic.
She would have loved to watch the Royal Wedding.
While my mom and I were sitting with Dorothy as she breathed heavy, gasping breaths (always a fighter and never ready to let go until the last possible moment), we watched the coverage of the nuptials on GMA as fleeting mental escapes from the heaviness of reality. One morning (I think it was Monday, but frankly, time doesn’t really exist within the walls of a cardiac unit), Elton John’s interview with Barbara Walters came on, and he said something that truly made sense.
Why is the world gaga over a wedding that we are not invited to and has literally no impact on our daily lives?
Elton summed it up pretty perfectly:
“Yeah, it is a fairy tale thing, and people criticize it and say we’re making too much of it, but it’s about love, and in this day and age, anything that’s about love and positivity is a welcome relief from what’s going on in the world.”
Watching the coverage in the hospital was a reprieve for the pain of watching a loved one die, and a reminder that love exists and flourishes and is worth living for. Why are we obsessed with the royal wedding? Because it’s about LOVE, period. It doesn’t need to be about anything else but watching two people madly in love declare it to the world.
And 2 billion other people, but who’s counting.
Dorothy would have loved to watch, but I’m sure she’ll be watching from heaven. She’ll want to know what the dress looks like.