Bride’s Father Dies Before Wedding – So Her Mom Gifts Her the Ultimate Daddy-Daughter Dance Surprise
The dance ended up being one of the most special parts of the day.
Weddings can be a joyous time, but they can also bring up plenty of mixed feelings— especially when someone you love can’t be there to share your special day with you.
That’s very true for people who have lost a parent, which is why it can be so important to honor them on the big day.
One mother recognized that when her little girl married without her father, and it completely changed the wedding day.
A Father Unexpectedly Dies
When Kourtney Krietemeier was just 13 years old, her father, Donnie Young, was killed in the line of duty. Young was a detective with the Denver Police Department, and he was shot and killed in an unprovoked attack. The man had served with the department for 12 years, and needless to say, his death was a shock to everyone.
“We did everything together. He was my best friend,” Krietemeier told Today. “So, not having him here for big moments is always really hard.”
As Krietemeier grew older, she continued to miss her dad. But when she got engaged, it was especially hard. At that point, her aunt suggested that perhaps some of Young’s former colleagues could walk her down the aisle instead. Meanwhile, her mother agreed to step in for the traditional father-daughter dance.
“Of course, it’s super happy, but at the same time, there’s this sadness, there’s that thing that’s missing,” Krietemeier explained to the publication.
An Unexpected Wedding Day Surprise
Even though the bride was grateful to be able to dance with her mom, she couldn’t get her dad out of her mind.
“I was excited to dance with my mom, but I kept thinking about my dad,” she admitted. “I wanted him there too. I was kind of dreading that moment.”
That’s where her mother’s intuition kicked in. Kelly Young knew her daughter was having a hard time, so she reached out to seven of her husband’s closest friends from the police department for help. They had all been in constant communication with her and her daughter ever since that fateful day they lost Donnie, and Kelly knew they would step up.
On the big day, Kelly asked the DJ to play Paul Simon’s “Father and Daughter.” The song has a special meaning for Krietemeier: when she was a little girl, her father played the song when he gifted her a replica of his police badge.
Kelly then surprised her daughter by having her late father’s friends come in and take her place.
“I ugly cried,” she admitted. “Having them tell me they were proud of me and how proud my dad would be, it was so comforting.”
Honoring Our Loved Ones
It can be uncomfortable talking about those who have passed. That’s why we often try not to bring them up: the last thing we want to do is to make someone feel sad or as though they’re missing out on someone who was so important to them —especially on a day like a wedding.
However, there’s also something to be said about honoring a person’s memory by talking about the joy they brought to our lives, the differences they made, and why they were so important during their time on earth. It’s how we keep memories alive, and it’s how we feed our souls when they start to ache for what we no longer have.
So take the time to honor those who have passed on. Remember the good times and talk about them. Take time to celebrate the life that was lived and share their story, and we will bring comfort to others and to ourselves.
Because while it may be sad that these people are no longer in our lives, their long-lasting memories are also part of what shaped us into the people we are today.
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