A wedding is a joyous, albeit stressful time in a couple’s life and it’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that the world keeps on turning around you. That is, until something happens that makes that world stop and causes you to feel like you are free falling. Life, and death, continues to ebb and flow onward without any regard to your special day. Last week, my grandfather passed away suddenly at the age of 66. It was a harsh slap in the face that being a bride doesn’t make you immune to reality. If anything, it only intensifies those feelings of anger and hurt and sorrow.
I’ve always been extremely close to my family and my grandparents are no different. My father’s parents passed away before I was born so my other set is all that I have known. I also was the only grandchild for nearly 5 years, which means I was pretty spoiled by them. Poppy used to take me out to lunch every time I would visit them in Delaware, and that also usually meant a new toy was in my near future. My absolute favorite (which is still at their house) was a silver plastic tea set. Poppy and I would play tea party for hours. Despite his manly and gruff exterior, he was a teddy bear on the inside. Especially when it came to his granddaughters. He was the type of man who would give you the shirt off his back and never ask for anything in return. He just loved helping people.
While the hole in my heart is going to take a while to mend, I have to remember all of these fun times we had together. He was extremely excited for my wedding since I am the first granddaughter to get married. I had even already purchased his Christmas present: a pair of cufflinks for the big day in the shape of a silver teapot. Instead of burying away this memory, I plan on using them as a tribute to him and having the florist tie them on to my bouquet. Of course I want our wedding to be filled with wonderful, happy memories but there is no harm in remembering those who are no longer with us.
Sadly none of Mike’s grandparents are with us, so I had already planned on a way to keep their memory alive as well. On either our gift or cake table I want to display pictures of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc on their wedding days. There are quite a few other ways to honor family members who are no longer with us. From reserving a seat to a moment of silence to incorporating a family heirloom in to your special day. Do whatever makes you happy. This is supposed to be the happiest day of both of your lives, and while you might be sad that that special person is not there, you can keep their memory alive even if it’s in a private or quiet way. My Poppy would want us to have the time of our lives. And I know he will be there in spirit. – Carrie Costantini