Thursday, April 18, 2013
Dear ESB: How do I acknowledge my father?
I've always said that I would not have a wedding. "I'd rather travel and elope abroad!" Now, I'm so glad that we decided to have a wedding because all of our favorite people, from all over the world, will be in the same city, having all sorts of fun together.
My dad and I have always had a great relationship, so despite the fact that I was never crazy about the whole wedding thing, when I attend weddings or see them on TV, I've always pictured my dad walking me down the aisle. I've thought about what song we'd dance to for the father/daughter dance. He was just always...there.
My dad committed suicide 7 months ago. It was a shock. I had no idea he was depressed. Preparing for a wedding that he won't be a part of has been difficult. It's been nice keeping busy, but now we're planning the ceremony and reception and I know I need to acknowledge him in some way. I've read that a lot of people have a moment of silence during the ceremony, but that seems like a huge downer. We're not religious so a prayer isn't going to happen. When is an appropriate moment?
I'd also like to include/honor my step-father in some way. He's really amazing and has been very supportive. I feel like if my dad hadn't died so recently, I could handle a father/daughter dance or something like that with him. However, at this point, I think any of the traditional father roles would highlight my dad's absence and make me lose my shit.
I don't want to completely lose my shit.
Any advice on how to handle this would be very much appreciated.
Lady, I am so so sorry you are going through this.
My mother's father committed suicide when she was 19, and though it wasn't a complete shock, I know how gut-wrenching it was for her to deal with.
Write a toast for your dad and give it at the reception.
This will make you bawl, but that's okay. Give yourself permission to bawl. Then maybe you won't have to worry about losing your shit for the rest of the night.
(And don't sweat your stepdad. He knows you care about him. Maybe get him a little present if you feel like it.)
So much love,
Collage by Matt Wisniewski using photography by Derrick Leung via Ez Pudewa