Love and Loss

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Aside from the crazy amount of wedding to-dos that just don't seem to end, I've been struggling lately.

My GFs threw me a fantastic #Bachney in Scottsdale this past weekend. I love them so intensely and I'm so awed by their individual amazingness. The fact they all pick me back and take time out to celebrate me humbles me like little else can. In the midst of all the fun and sun, I couldn't help but feel completely consumed by love and loss. I've always been incredibly controlled when it comes to crying and losing it publicly, but ever since my dad first got sick, I've cried at random for the past three years. 

I tell you this because weddings and marriages and all the love and goodness that accompany them are about more than just the bride and groom. They're about family and tradition and ushering in the foundation of a new empire. I hope my grandchildren can look at Raz's and my day and say "This was the day that built us." That is so powerful. 

And in spite of all the love I have that rocks me to my core, I am equally conflicted because the one person I want isn't here. As a little girl, I thought about it a lot. I thought of what he would whisper when he dropped me in front of my man and the preacher, I thought of him holding my mom's hand, I thought of our dance, I thought of how he would be with his grand babies. I never imagined I'd go it without him.


It's inspired a bit of an catastrophic identity crisis. I know who I am now, but who will I be when I'm supposed to start something new without him? Will I lose a part of me by taking a new name? Will everything he instilled in me still be there when I'm not presenting myself to the world as his creation, progeny and legacy? Will I be an absolute mess between now and forever? Would he be upset that his name and my name will no longer be the same? Full disclosure: I have been an absolute nightmare while trying to figure it all out. And writing it doesn't read back as majorly as it feels. I'm lucky I spent 27 years building relationships people would feel guilty ending. I don't want to pick tablecloths. I don't care about appetizers. I just want my dad. And I'm putting this all out there as a last ditch effort to figure it all out.

"He will be there," everyone tells me. Sure, there will be signs, but until you feel the kind of grief that takes you to your knees, you won't understand that desperate need for a hug and validation on your biggest day. 

If you've ever felt this, know you're not alone. When I clue in to how to deal, I will let you know. That may never happen, but I wanted to put it on the World Wide Whitney - had to - in case anyone going through the same feels weird or confused and sometimes straight up feminist/faminist (noun: someone who protects his/her family of origin while trying to start a new one) about taking a new name. Because it's not about the name and it's not about not wanting to be a part of a formidable unit. I will proudly stand by my man as his woman, but given my circumstance, I refuse to rid myself of anything that came before us.

To girls like me, or to anyone who can relate, I'm standing right beside you saying, "We're in this together, girlfriend, and we will make it." If not, there's always wine, shopping and Housewives. And lots of ice cream. 

Four more weeks until #mrmrspopa. Here's a taste of #Bachney.

Just because you're in wading through dramatic mourning doesn't mean you lose your fabulosity.


  1. Hey Whitney, I'm so sorry you have been struggling lately. I can relate to you in some regards. Even though I was incredibly blessed to have my dad there on my wedding day, I now face the sadness about my last name. I proudly chose to take my husband's last name and at the time my mother-in-law asked if I was going to change my middle name to my maiden name, I didn't. Now I want so badly to legally have my maiden name as my middle name. I have the same feelings about losing a part of his legacy without his last name, no one will know I was his daughter, his blood. I just thought I would share as an option for you as you make your decision. Just know that you have that option to keep your maiden name as your middle name and take Popa as your last name. I know that marriage is the perfect time to do this because you wouldn't have to go to court to have it done. It is a much simpler process due to marriage. Much love Whitney!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Steph! I've talked about it with Raz a lot and I think I'll just add his to everything I already have. I don't love my middle name, but he does, so I'm kind of into the symbolism of adding to myself in that way. WNSP it is :).

      Been thinking about you a lot. You can always change back!


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