‘Til death do us part
When you have this promise in your mind before you are married, you think that death will be very distant. Naturally, we will grow old and gray together, and the years between that will be the expected form of ups and downs that everyone always talks about. What tends to sink in a few months after being married is the inescapable knowledge that you can’t imagine your life without them. Not in that “I won’t be able to go on” should something terrible happen to them (or to you, Jennifer, you klutzy kid). It is that type of imagining of “Could there really be a version of my life in the future where this person won’t be there, where this promise would no longer be pending, but fulfilled?”
This vow sinks in when you realize that you are not only in it for the rest of your life, but with your whole life. You are all-in. You are more than dedicated, but devoted. “’Til death do us part” is not just about enjoying our life together until the inevitable happens. It is about giving our life for the other. Plain and simple, that is love. That means this vow, then, is not just a closing date of a contract. It is the finish line that can only be successfully reached when you give everything in the journey of getting there.
Are the previous posts and above the only meanings of these vows? Absolutely not. I am sure in a few years, I will become aware of several new meanings behind these ancient promises. But, for now, I know if I keep my mind on the above explanation of what these vows truly mean, then I will have much more to celebrate with each wedding we attend.