(Closed) Sensitive issue – Father passed away this year – what to do about well meaning

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 2
7682 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

sweatergal007 :  I’m sorry for your loss.  We lost my mom one month prior to my daughter’s wedding. It was a wonderful day that I enjoyed and mostly kept my focus on enjoying the celebration of our daughter’s wedding, and being aware of celebrating the loved ones still with us. I privately did get a bit teary, but didn’t want the day to be tinged with grief. Keep your friends and dearest family members close to help you and your mom to help you both get through any tough moments. 

Post # 3
47261 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We are never ready to say goodbye to the ones we love. Your Dad ws lucky to be so loved as you were to have him in your life.

I don’t think there really is anything you can do. People are naturally going to express their condolences or say they miss “____””, because that’s the right thing to do. It would be rude of them not to say anything. Many people who have lost someone close to them are really hurt when their loved one is never mentioned. It’s like they never existed.


Post # 6
3169 posts
Sugar bee

I can see you want to protect your Mum, which is a beautiful thing but impossible to do entirely. She’s sad and grieving, there’s nothing you can do to make that better no matter how much you might want to. I understand frustration at insensitive comments and so on, I’ve dealt with death and the way I live with those insensitivities is to take a moment when someone says them to realise others haven’t and just have no idea. I can’t begrudge them – what I wouldn’t give to have the blessing of their naievety.

People mentioned my late Mum at my wedding but only in speeches (I prefer talking about her as she is still very much alive in me as her legacy). No one offered condolences as I think most realise a wedding is a celebration and not the time. Also you are very busy with not a lot of time for one on one catch ups. 

Is there anyone you can get word to within the family who you can ask to tactfully spread the word that you will be remembering your Dad privately and do not wish for public statements or condolences that day? Who is your Mum sitting with? Can she be placed with people who can support her should it happen? 

Post # 7
470 posts
Helper bee

I would definitely talk to a family member who wouldn’t mind spreading the word. It doesn’t need to be pushy at all, just “they want to celebrate life on that day, and would appreciate it if everyone focused on who is able to be there, instead of who is not.” In my case, my mother is very sick, and we’ve asked our friend (who is officiating) to not mention anything about being lucky she made it to the day/sickness/death. My bridesmaids know as well, and have told a few people on our behalf, who would be making speeches. I think it’s a good option to provide a buffer, and it is totally understandable. The people who bring these things up mean it with the best of intentions, and out of love, and sometimes it is ok to give them an idea of how they should show it.

Post # 8
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

An acquaintance of mine lost her husband very shortly (a couple of weeks) before her daughter’s wedding. She sent out an email to the guests saying they would all miss his presence very much, but that he would have wanted it to be a joyous time focused on her daughter and son in law. It sounds like it worked well and everyone had as nice a day as one could under the circumstances. 

Post # 9
395 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

sweatergal007 :  I totally understand where you’re coming from. I lost my father in December and I’ve truly been taken aback by the number of insensitive things people have said. I have had several people basically argue me down about my decision to not have anyone walk me down the aisle….one incident ocurred within a week of my father’s passing. Very upsetting!cry

Unfortunately we can’t control other’s comments but I know that during my wedding people will naturally want to talk about him (my mother and sibling too as they’re all deceased). So I am hoping to manage those discussions. I plan to have all the guests at the end of my rehearsal dinner/welcome reception, on the eve of my wedding, light and send off sky lanterns to honor my Fiance and my loved ones who have passed on as well as my guests’ deceased loved ones. (We’re doing that at the end so I can have some alone time aferwards if I become too emotional.) I just think seeing all the lanterns floating toward heaven are so peaceful and beautiful!

But I hear you that you don’t want any outward displays. Could you include a statement in your programs about quietly remembering those who are deceased while participating in a boisterous celebration of your new union? 


Post # 10
268 posts
Helper bee

I had this problem too, since both my fi and u had lost our fathers, and a brother recently.  I asked my moms to spread the message that we wanted our wedding to be a happy occasion, and while we knew “they would be so proud” and “they’re looking down on us”, we politely requested that on our wedding day you let us know how YOU feel for us, not how you think our dead relatives would feel for us.  Aside from the grandma on my dads side hysterically sobbing through the first 3 hours of celebrations, most people understood that our wedding didn’t need to be a memorial.

I also asked the wedding party to keep it out of speeches except for the two moms (because I knew they wouldn’t turn it into a eulogy) and my best friend, who I knew would keep anything about my brother light.

I feel like so many people feel obligated to “honour” their deceased loved ones, however I’m of the mind that NONE of our relatives would have wanted us to cry in grief on our wedding day, and certainly none of these men would ever have wanted to be the centre of attention.  Other people may have “tsk”ed my for not doing a huge long-winded speech about my brother and dad, but I knew in my heart what was right.

Post # 11
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

My grandmother passed away two months before my wedding this year. It was very difficult for the family because it was pretty sudden, and we NEVER thought she wouldn’t be there celebrating with us (even though she was 95, her health was never something that was a concern until the very end). I don’t think anyone mentioned it at the wedding, but my mom cried a LOT during it (and not happy tears, I don’t think), and I felt so bad for her. I just personally tried not to let it linger in my mind that day. It definitely shows in the pictures and video, my mom literally looks like she’s going to a funeral :-/ For the wedding, I did purchase a little memorial sign and put it up at the escort card table. (http://www.etsy.com/listing/223156320) My mom now has that in her house. It was a nice subtle touch, and I know my mom appreciated it. I don’t think she would have wanted anything more than that, like a picture or something.

Post # 12
2506 posts
Sugar bee

sweatergal007 :  my little brother was killed almost 2 years ago, and my little sister got married last decemeber. to say the wedding was difficult without him there is an understatement. family makes comments, friends make comments, there’s not really anything you can do to stop them – and i dont think you should try. sure, these are happy occasions, but life is not black and white and divided into happy and sad occasions. your wedding is happy, but it’s going to be a bit sad, too, because someone who is very important to you and should be there isn’t. and it’s ok to acknowledge that and feel sad – trying to ignore it isn’t genuine, and i don’t think it’s fair to your father’s memory. will it make your mom sad? yes. but i promise you she’s sad anyway, and keeping the comments away from her is only sending the message that she needs to hold it in and pretend like she’s happy. instead, be ok with her being sad. it sucks to see someone you love hurt so much – i’ve had to look at my parents over the past two year and just see total and utter heartbreak, and i wish i could take that away from them. but in reality, there’s nothing i can do, and not talking about my brother doesn’t help. it only makes their grief and his memory seem taboo – and that’s not fair. instead, i’ve realized that as much as it hurts to talk about him and know he’s not here, and to hear comments from friends and family, at the same time it’s keeping his memory alive.

Post # 13
2628 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

sweatergal007 :  I’m really sorry you are going through this.  I don’t really have much to add to the conversation, but I found comfort reading your story.  It make me and my Fiance feel not as alone.

My FI’s mother passed away rather unexceptedly in April this year and our wedding is in a few weeks.  I know my Fiance and his dad and brother will be thinking about her on the day, but I’m hoping not to to bring the mood down too much.  It is supposed to be a happy day.  We’re putting a small note in the program, but that’s it.  FI didn’t want to make a big production out of it either.  We are skipping a small slide show we were going to do because he thought it would make him too sad too.

A lot of his family is from out of town, and this is the first time since the funeral we are going to see everyone- so I know there will probably be a few comments to his dad, asking how he’s doing, but I hope it is kept to a minimum too.  I’m sure he’s prepared though, everyone is trying to do what is best.

Post # 14
2628 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

ilovesophia :  Thank you for your comment!! This was really well said.

Post # 15
3864 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Is there perhaps a key person who could discretely spread the message? I feel like putting it in writing would be a bit too formal.

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