Marriage: Unconditional Love

Marriage and unconditional love, what does it truly mean?

I’ve been sitting on this article for just under four weeks now, struggling to write anything and struggling to find the words.

We’ve had a bit of a bumpy start to 2016.

Sadly, Mr Nu Bride and I received some heartbreaking news last month. One of my very first gorgeous Nu Bride couples and also a Dear relative, Jermaine passed away to cancer at the tender age of just 34 years old. Leaving behind family, friends and his beautiful wife of just four years, Gwyneth.

314725_1981482984395_1462815682_31672207_1021362719_nPhoto: Graham Lacado

It’s been feeling pretty surreal ever since, but once news spread, the sudden outpouring of tributes on Facebook cemented a painful reality.

None of us imagine being dealt such a ferocious blow when we embark on our happily ever after. We all visualise ourselves growing old together, many holidays and adventures to look forward to, travels, setting career goals, retirement, dreams, grey hairs, perhaps even children. Never do we imagine being confronted with this. How on earth do you put your heart back together again?


Photo: Graham Lacado

When we prepare to marry, when we write and say our vows of course, we mean them.

In traditional vows we frequently recite;

To love and to cherish;

In sickness and in health;

Till death us do part…

but do any of us really think about the magnitude of the vows that we are saying to each other? What these vows could mean?


Photo: Graham Lacado

Whilst incredibly difficult, I had the great honour of delivering Jermaine’s eulogy and I just wanted to share a little section I wrote about unconditional love.  It gives a little snippet of Jermaine and Gwyneth’s remarkable relationship, their tenderness, their beautiful strength and vulnerability:

How lucky Jermaine and Gwyneth were to have found each other.
Gwyneth, the unconditional love you showed Jermaine in its purest form was truly beautiful to watch and an inspiration to us all. This is not the hand any of us imagine being dealt with so early into marriage and the strength of your relationship at this time and long before Jermaine’s diagnosis, demonstrated the epitome of how a woman should love a man and how a man should love a woman.


Photo: Graham Lacado

Love: It can be so beautiful and so painful in equal measure.

Marriage: It is a force to be reckoned with, but it is not and cannot all be about the highs, but it is about the measure of how we manage and support each other and how we cope with the challenges too.

Gwyneth is a remarkable woman and Jermaine was a remarkable man. A remarkable human being, he lived with great kindness and joy in his heart and huge ambition. Never did he lose faith or hope, he intended to kick Cancers butt and gave the biggest and most inspiring fight. Never did he complain about the hand he had been dealt with, but always championing others, always interested in your life and your ambitions and Nu Bride!  He chose to spend the time he had left creating more precious memories with the people he loved the most, and I personally I am so grateful to that opportunity, as boy do I now have some rich and sacred memories.

Aside from being so moved by their love for each other, what I have learnt from Jermaine and Gwyneth, is our power to exercise choice.

In life we always have choices. We have no control over what life throws at us, ZERO. But we can make a conscious choice about how we choose to respond to the challenges thrown at us. How we conduct ourselves, how we spend our time, who we spend our time with, to act with honour and integrity leaving a legacy on how we want to be remembered.

This crazy little journey called life is hard sometimes and sometimes its incredible, please do all you can to honour it. Follow your dreams, re-connect with family and friends, pursue your purpose….take those risks and jump.

For those of you embarking on your journey to happily ever after, your journey up the aisle still imminent and exciting, grab hold of it with both hands. Treasure it. Do not let it go. The moments are just too precious.

If you’re arguing about RSVP’s and pedantic’s, choose to stop. It doesn’t matter. All we ever have to do is love each other and be present in every single moment that we are blessed with.

Getting married can cause such overwhelm, sometimes stress and unwanted anxiety, it also can and should bring great joy and excitement.  Whatever this journey brings for you, please remember one thing, that you are adored and you are loved and that my darling is all that ever really matters. Cherish each other and the reason why you are marrying.

JK PhotographyJermaine and Gwyneth on our wedding day | JK Photography

Dedicated to Jermaine and Gwyneth; your strength, your hope, and your unconditional love was and will always be forever an inspiration and forever in my heart.

Here’s hoping this will go some way to help get that one step closer to better understanding and finding a way to finally beat unforgiving cancer, so we don’t lose more precious people in our lives this way. 

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One Response to “Marriage: Unconditional Love”

  1. Heather
    March 4, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    My heart goes out to Gwyneth and to you Nova and all the friends that loved Jermaine. We grieve with you in solidarity. May you find the love and strength to make it through this difficult time. My husband lost his dad to cancer, shortly before our wedding. It was heartbreaking to us all because he was such a kind and remarkable man. He made such an impression on my husband and his development. He welcomed me into the family with open arms. What was most remarkable to me was to witness the love between my mother in law and father in law. They truly loved each other for better or worse and it was a model of what marriage can be. I know my mother in law struggles no longer having her partner by her side. Sigh… there are no words. Many Blessings to you all. –Heather

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