You often hear people who have had near-death experiences talk of walking through a tunnel-like path and having a “life review” of some sort before transitioning to the next place. Despite my near-death experience occurring 16 years ago, in many ways my experience through the tunnel of life also took place this past summer on my wedding day.
I knew my wedding day would be spiritually moving and symbolic in many ways, but I never would have thought the gift of perspective would appear on that day in such a powerful way as it did. As I reflected on my special day shortly afterward, I realized the most meaningful moment of the entire day for me was the walk down the aisle. Yes, it was a significant moment between me and my dad, but I realized especially how symbolic it was of the relationships in my life. Every relationship. There I was walking down the aisle holding onto my dad’s hand, a man who fought for my success and victories after the adversities that were acquired from the near-death experience years ago. I was symbolically walking away from the past thirty years I had lived up to that moment and walking into the next years of my life with my husband waiting at the front to greet me and take my hand from my dad’s, entering into our new life together.
Standing next to him was my spiritual mentor, whom we were gifted to have marry us that day. By no accident, she was actually the first woman who ever helped put words to my experience of crossing over during the near-death experience I had years ago. Sitting in the front row were our closest family members, including our mothers and grandparents, each of them representing life teachers for me who had provided guidance and support through all the years. Without them, I would not be where I am or who I am today.
Our wedding day was not just a celebration of love on that day, but also a celebration of complete grace. As I continued to process my feelings after the wedding, I was overcome with gratitude for the presence of each guest there, and how strongly I felt their energy that day, especially with each step I took down the aisle. Each row was filled with individuals who were placed in my life at the very exact moments they needed to be throughout those years, and it was amazing how much clearer their role in my life became on that day as I reflected on their presence.
As my dad and I walked past each row of chairs, I felt the energy of love from each guest flow through my heart. I glanced at their faces and thought of the meaningful moments I shared with each person, the lesson(s) they had provided me and the influence they had had in my life. It was almost as if the puzzle pieces had all come together and the full image was revealed to me. I wish I could have stopped at each guest and individually thanked them for their role in my life and explained to them the gift I had received simply by knowing them. And how their place in my life, big or small, impacted my life and made a difference in who and where I am today.
That brief moment and walk was the best wedding gift I could have asked for. It was my reminder of God’s grace. The past sixteen years of my journey through rehabilitation, trials and victories seemed to move through my Being as I took each step towards the front of the aisle. My day was not just a celebration of the love between Nate and I, but also the celebration of a life that was spared in 1995 and was gifted with the blessing of amazing family and friends who each played a role in my life since that time.