Confessions of a Catholic Bride to Be | Week 2

By: Erin Kisley

Last week we crossed another item off the list: the disc jockey!  It seemed rather innocuous (so I thought).  Along with the contract, the DJ included a sample reception itinerary and a questionnaire for us to fill out regarding songs for our entrance, our first dance and other special wedding traditions.

As we began to fill out the questionnaire, I saw the words “father-daughter dance.”  All at once, my heart began to beat at twice its normal rate, my body temperature began to rise, and my breathing became heavy and labored.

On the line where I’m supposed to write his first and last name, I scribbled the word: “deceased.”

erin and joe 6

It’s been almost five years since I lost my dad following his 4-year battle with cancer. Anyone facing a similar loss knows that even though people stop asking, it doesn’t quit hurting.  This will be the first time, besides a graduation or holiday, that he is noticeably gone.  I’m particularly private when it comes to this area of my life, but on my wedding day, it will be on display for all to see.

My first thought was to scrap the idea of special dances altogether, only including the couple’s first dance.  But, after drying my tears, I thought to myself: “Denying Joe a dance isn’t going to heal the pain of not having one.”

So, as I walk down the aisle (in four months!) arm and arm with my mother, my emotions will be mixed with sadness, joy and gratitude.  I will mourn the loss of my father in an acute way, but I will also be aware of the gift of faith that he and my mother passed on to me.  A gift that guided me in choosing this amazing man waiting for me before the altar of God.

My father’s death is a reminder as we begin our marriage, that we are a gift to each other and that our time here on earth is measured.  We are meant for a far greater destiny.  So as I ponder my future with Joe, I think: “I can’t wait to one day introduce Joe to my dad in Heaven (God Willing).”  But then again….I’m sure that my father already knows him and I believe that he had a hand in guiding me to him.  I think they would’ve been good friends.  Well, as friendly as a dad can be to his new son-in-law…

This is the second installment of Erin’s weekly Wednesday series on marriage preparation and its inherent struggles. An engaged woman at the humble age of 26, Erin hopes her experience will encourage and teach. Her final posts will culminate in the event that marks the purpose of it all—taking her wedding vows and tying the knot on June 27, 2014.

12 thoughts on “Confessions of a Catholic Bride to Be | Week 2

  1. I just started following your blog and I really like it. My husband died of cancer when Katherine, my daughter, was only 3 months old. From time to time, I thought of how it will be on her wedding day. Anyway, I shared your link to her and told her to follow your blog….it is a very good read for her. I will be praying for you and Joe. Many wonderful blessings to come.

  2. Maria, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope this blog post will bring Katherine comfort. Thank you for your kind words and prayers!

  3. My daughter is getting married in July, and her father has also passed away. She has asked her godfather to dance with her for the Father/Daughter dance. She has asked her grandfather to escort her down the aisle in the church. She would have asked her godfather to be her escort in church as well, except that he is also our choir director and he will be busy at that time!

  4. Barbara, congratulations to your daughter & her fiance on their upcoming wedding! What a blessing to have her godfather and grandfather to share this special day. I will keep all in my prayers!

  5. Hi Erin,
    I got married about two years ago, only 10 months after my father had suddenly died. I know how you feel about planning those special wedding moments and not having him there. For me at least, I wasn’t too upset about that the day of, but my dad’s absence at my wedding hit me several days later and there I was…crying in the middle of the street in a little town in Maine. Missing him so much. Upset that I had had to do it all on my own, without him there.
    You will have a beautiful wedding though and a beautiful marriage. It helps me to remember that you are very close to your dad when you receive the Eucharist.
    Best if luck and I will keep you in my prayers!

  6. Emily, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for your kind words and reminder of our closeness in the Eucharist. God bless!

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