A Funeral and A Wedding

This has got to be one of the most poignant things I've ever read. When 7-year-old Asa Hill died after a car accident, his parents honored the young boy's lifelong wish that they get married. And married they did, right after their child's funeral:

The Rev. Joel Miller of The Unitarian Universalist Church of Elmwood, where the service was held, was unsure at first when the idea of a wedding was proposed by the couple and their family.

"I asked twice, 'We're doing a wedding?' This was new for me. I never did a funeral service and a wedding ceremony at the same time, and normally wouldn't, but they have known each other since they were teens," Miller said. "And they had been providing for Asa, and they made a home together for all of Asa's life. ... It was clear they were following through on something they had been talking about for some time."

Hill and Ghirmatzion have been best friends since they were 15 and have been together for almost half of their lives. After Asa was born, marriage had always been something that they considered but, according to Hill, both felt that a wedding was "superficial and not necessary."

Asa, however, was insistent that they make their union official. "Asa really wanted us to do it, and every time he would ask us
we would say, 'Yes, we'll get married,' " said Hill. But the couple never did get around to figuring out the logistics for a ceremony.

While holding his lifeless son in his arms at the hospital, Hill was moved to finally officially propose to his lifelong partner. "Rahwa was overwhelmed at that moment and just looked at me. When the family sat down to plan the funeral service, she said 'Let's get married.' And everyone broke down at the table," he said.

Jean Shin of CNN has the moving story: Link

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Mmm. I think I know what you mean Ted. But I also know what it means to all kinds of people in relationships that marriage makes it official, it makes it recognized. Makes it more than civil unions. Some people don't get that and well, they shouldn't have to. I don't think it can be assumed how they actually feel about it. It depends on what those two think in the end, not what others think. As it is with marriages in itself, it's always what the couple thinks is the right thing to do. : )
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Is common-law marriage still recognized or legal anywhere in the US anymore?

I live in Buffalo where this accident happened, and the story of the 8 car pile-up where bystanders stopped to pull people out of burning cars is still mentioned on the news. I know common-law marriage is not recognized in NY.
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Alex, I just don't get how it mattered to a 7-yr-old unless the parents weren't living together on a regular basis. I wonder if they were projecting their own ideas into the situation, which happens quite often when we grieve.

"He would have wanted us to celebrate his life, not grieve his death" or "she would have wanted such-and-such" are too often bandied about during funerals.

Funny how something that was "superficial and not necessary" suddenly became a "miraculous act of courage, strength, and love". Too bad it took the death of their son for them to realize it. That's why it's kinda pathetic - I know, it's blunt, but I don't mean it in a derogatory way.
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It matters to some kids that their parents call eachother "husband" and "wife" and not just boyfriend and girlfriend, or even fiancé. To some kids it shows a higher level of commitment to the family.

It also matters to most people to respect the last wishes of the deceased. Calling that "pathetic" is just low class.
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