The period of time between an engagement and a marriage is an odd time. For all intents and purposes, the couple is family. They think of their future and they HAVE made a commitment to that future. But they are not yet legally recognized. For some, this can have tragic consequences.

In France, one such story happened recently when the pregnant fiance of a French soldier who was killed by a terrorist applied to marry him posthumously. This is apparently something that has happened before in France and when it does, the ceremony is something to make you cry for a week. An empty chair represents the deceased fiance.

It is beautiful. It is somber. It is 100 percent understandable.

As a pregnant woman, presumably with his child, why wouldn't she want legal recognition for her loss? As his fiance, she is no better legally than a girlfriend.

We saw this so much after 9/11. There were women who were engaged to marry men who were left bereft by their losses but who had no legal claim to their role. A woman who is married has a name -- widow. A woman who is not has nothing but her memories.

It is a tribute to that love and to what it meant to this woman that she still wants to go through with the wedding. It is not surprising in any way. But it is heartbreaking and meaningful.

Something like this should make us all look at our spouses differently. Every day in the past, present, and future is a gift. We are lucky to have them.

My heart breaks for this woman and she deserves her wedding and she deserves to be called a "widow." After all, that is what she is.

Do you think this makes sense?

 

Image via meemal/Flickr