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Dearly Departed

One hard topic to discuss is death. I feel like this topic has been surrounding me lately. A week ago, I had to make the difficult decision to put my 9-year-old cat to sleep. Alex, aka Meow, was very sick. He had renal failure and intestinal adenocarcinoma. He had been with me through every tough moment in my adult life. I got him when I was just a sophomore in college. He lived with my mom until he made her allergies flare up, put holes in her leather couch and tortured our golden retriever. Since I was still living in the dorms at college and was not about to give up my cute little gray kitty, I decided to move him into the fraternity house in which my then-boyfriend lived. I give full credit to living in that house for his wonderfully tolerant and friendly demeanor later in life. A few months after moving him in there, I got my first apartment and he was my first roommate. He’s been with me through break-ups (he had a really keen sense of who would last and who wouldn’t), new jobs, a new city, and on and on and on. I miss him dearly and can’t wait until the time when I can look back on him poking me in the head to wake me up in the middle of the night to cuddle without crying, but instead with a little smile on my face.

Unfortunately, this has not been the only death this year. It seems like this has been an unwanted theme this year. I know I am not the only one who has been affected by this and with weddings right around the corner, it is hard to think of facing that day without your loved one. So I started thinking… in what ways can you honor the memory of the dearly departed without turning your day into one of mourning. Here are a few ideas:

1. Photo charms can be attached to the inside of your gown, similar to how some brides sew in a patron saint medal. This can be something unseen to honor someone with whom you were very close. You will know it is there, but many others may not. You can also use this same type of charm on the stem of your bouquet. I found this one at Things Remembered.

2. Memorial Tables can be a great way to honor loved ones. Depending on the theme of your wedding, you can use antique photo frames to hold sepia or black and white photos of grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, etc. Wedding photos would be a great way to include one of the happiest days of their lives with one of the happiest days of yours.

3. If it is a recent death in the family, a short toast during the reception can be a great way to remember the good times. This one can be tough, so I suggest sticking with the good memories and possibly even funny quotes said by him/her. It will keep the mood light and yet remind everyone how truly special s/he is to you.

4. If you have any jewelry, handkerchiefs, wedding gowns, etc from the deceased family member, you can incorporate that into your wedding. By wearing a special ring of your mother’s or having your grandfather’s handkerchief to wipe away your tears of joy, you will easily remember how much you loved them and they loved you.

This is a problem I hope no bride has on her wedding day. But if you do, at least you will know how to make sure the memory of your loved one is honored. Have you seen other unique ways to pay tribute to loved ones who have passed on?

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite from our first round of engagement photos. This was how a typical day in our house went. RIP Meow.


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