Brides with Terminally Ill or Disabled Parents

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
3711 posts
Sugar bee

@something_orange:  

My father has an untreatable/incurable muscle wasting disease. He’s had symptoms for 9 years and started using a cane last summer. I had intended for both parents to walk me down the aisle (Protestant), but  it’s quite narrow, so my mother will walk me down most of it, and he will meet us, before I step up on the platform. He’ll be able to shake hands with my grooom and kiss me, which I think is important. We have something called an Uplift seat, that he sits on, and later pops up, when he wants to get up, which should help him to stand, during the evening. I hope to be able to do an announced father-daughter dance. He was much better, for my sister’s wedding last year, but no one could tell he had any issues, since slow dancing is mostly holding and slow steps, and my sister did the twirling around. Good luck , to the two of you. It’s the love that matters most!

Post # 4
Member
266 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Is it possible that keeping him involved in the planning and lead up has made him feel a part of the celebration?

Also, getting to be in photos with you, the groom and family can be a fun activity that often makes everyone feel connected and involved (and it doesn’t have to be a strenuous activity).

Sadly, FI’s dad lost his battle with esophageal cancer in November but this was an issue we were starting to research ourselves. 

Post # 5
Member
41 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Both my Dad & FI’s Mom are terminally ill. 1 Heart failure and 1 schleraderma. If we were having an actual wedding (we’re not, too chicken about what might happen to our parents at the time of or before a wedding), I would have the DJ do something fun just for both of them separately. Nothing crazy, but a dance around the table where they are sitting, a quick roast (they both have great senses of humor), a little presentation of pics with them and us as kids – something cool that makes them feel special. We might do this at our after-elopement party. Good luck – I absolutely know what that’s like and it’s insanely difficult to manage. It took all the fun right out of our planning to a point of eloping instead of an actual wedding. You are a saint for including them 🙂 

Post # 6
Member
566 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your Dad’s health. What a difficult thing to deal with while you are planning your wedding.

My Mom does not have a terminal illness, but has Progressive MS, so I can related to some of your concerns. I also worried about this leading up to our wedding. Like @Vsmart: suggested, try and keep him as involved as possible leading up to the wedding (as much as any Dad would allow)! I know this really helped my Mom. 

Will he be there when you are getting ready? Maybe you could take a few moments during that time (or at another time during the day), and give him some sort of special gift/letter so that he knows how much he means to you.

Before the wedding, I asked one of my bridesmaids to keep an eye on my Mom, and to make sure she always had a snack/drink/whatever she needed (Maybe you could do the same, or ask a family member to). Since pretty much everyone there knew my Mom, she was well taken care of, my bridesmaid didn’t need to do anythig for her! I also noticed that on the wedding day, most people were coming to my Mom and chatting with her (instead of her having to go to them). Since she had a walker/forearm crutches it was obvious to anyone that doesn’t know her that she has mobility issues, and they made the effort to reach out to her. Honeslty, she was exhausted, and in so much pain, that she had no desire to dance and run around!

You Dad will understand that you can’t be by his side the entire night, and I bet he wouldn’t want you to be. Take a few moments throughout the night to give him a hug, a smile and a wave, or to check in to say a quick hello. Make sure someone is assigned to assit him, and that he is front row for all of the special moments of the day (ie. cake cutting, first dance, speeches.)

ETA: Like mentioned above, we had a sildeshow, and included were lots of photos of my Mom and I together. This made her feel so special, and was one of the favourite parts of the night for her!

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