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On the death of a loved one

Life is anything but predictable. No matter how much control you exert over securing an intended future, life will exert its sometimes cruel impartiality onto your meticulously crafted plan. The beauty of life, however, lies in its fickle nature. If human life was not fleeting, then we would have nothing to lose, and thus, nothing worth appreciating. Incidentally, love would be forsaken. The beauty of life is its ephemerality. This is why, when it comes to the most precious moments of all, such as the day of your marriage, every second should be filled with gratitude. How do you cope, however, when life’s caprice becomes an obstacle to your happiness during this monumental life event?

          For every couple, losing a parent is perhaps the most devastating event that could fall upon them before the day of the wedding. After considering the cases of many couples who have been subject to this trauma, it becomes apparent that the real tragedy is not the idea that the grief itself will pervade the wedding, but rather simply come to grips that your parent will not bear witness to a great milestone. Although this article will not presume to remedy or find a solution to such tragedy, we hope that some consolation can be found.

          Recently, one of our bride’s’ parents was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Shortly after this event, the other passed. Considering the case of the bereft couple dealing with the aftershock, we wanted some way to help. So we looked into cases of other couples who have dealt with similar trauma, and have found the following to be true.

          Firstly, paying homage to your lost parent during the wedding is necessary, but do not let the grief of their loss pervade the wedding. Instead, allow the love that your parent would have exuded with their presence at your wedding also be the driving force behind the way in which you honour during this day. Brides may do this by wearing there mother’s wedding dress. When other brides were asked about their experience doing so, they’ve remarked that donning their mother’s dress made it feel as though an extension of their mother was present. This is not only a way to pay respect to a departed mother but allows the departed to be an active counterpart in the wedding itself. Should the bride not have inherited a wedding dress, a small piece of jewellery or borough purports the same effect. Should the groom carry the weight of a lost father or mother, the same approach can be taken on. Donning or carrying a cherished item that once belonged to your departed parent holds true symbolic significance and personal solace. If you choose not to carry a piece of your departed parent on or with you, there are other ways to honour them, the most opportune way is through the wedding speech. However, this must be done with tact. Although you may be overcome with the urge to make your deceased loved one the focal point of your dialogue, doing so may exacerbate the pain of missing them causing you to forget the comfort of your guests. Dedicate a few minutes to honour their memory with a humorous story, or other memorable moments that you cherish of your time together. Doing so will pay ample homage to their life while generating positivity to your wedding gathering. It is also a small way that you can transform your grief into joyous remembrance. Anyone grieving with the loss of a parent can also see the wedding as a chance to be surrounded by those who not only love you but loved your parents.

                Of course, one should also be aware of the practicalities and financial impact that the passing of a loved one may have on your wedding plans. If a couple finds themselves in the situation of having to cancel their wedding due to a death in the family, it pays to be insured. Choosing an insurance plan is a highly personalised decision; in the case of an ailing loved one, it may be necessary to consider investing in a more extensive plan. If in the event that your parent passes suddenly, having even a small coverage insurance ensures you against the implications of having to cancel your wedding. A personalised approach to your insurance plan can be found in our previously published article “Wedding Insurance: Everything You Need to Know.”

Written by: Meghan E. Ingraham