As a 25 year old female, I have attended my fair share of weddings — and that doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. In fact, last year and this year seems to have been filled with weddings across the country.
However, one thing is the same at every one. I need to leave the room for the father-daughter dance. Please don’t take it personally. I really, truly, don’t mean to offend you. The dance is beautiful, it’s iconic, and it’s a rite of passage of sorts.
I just can’t handle it. I’m a strong person, and I can handle a lot, but this? This is one thing I can’t handle.
I lost my father to Multiple Sclerosis when I was just 18 years old.
And that is why I can’t handle your father-daughter dance.
Your father-daughter dance is a reminder of something that I’ll never get to have; something I will never get to experience. It’s a reminder of another life event my father won’t be here to be part of. It’s painful. It stings. It really, really hurts.
But please remember, this is not your fault. Please don’t be offended when I sneak out of the room during speeches, or when I hear the DJ announce that the dance is starting. It’s not your fault in the slightest, and I’m so happy that you get to have this dance with your father. Cherish it. Never forget it, and most importantly, don’t take it for granted.
One of my best friends got married last year — I’ve known her since I was four years old and our parents became quick friends to the point I consider them family. I really, truly tried to handle that father-daughter dance — to see a man I consider like an uncle to me dance with his daughter, who I consider family. But, this closeness, it just made it even more painful in a way.
Luckily, my mother, who we all know by now is superwoman, was there to save the day and rush me out of the room and into a separate area where I couldn’t see or hear anything. And you know what else I did? I cried. I cried in her arms. If you know me, you know I hate crying. You know I don’t know how to handle crying. In fact, if you know me, you’ve probably never even seen me cry.
But I did cry at this wedding during this father-daughter dance. Because I miss my father so much. Because we used to talk about this dance when I was younger — would we dance to Butterfly Kisses? Or Forever Young? Or Brown Eyed Girl? All of that was taken away from me.
And again, it’s not your fault. Please don’t take it personally or be offended when I’m not there to watch your father-daughter dance. But please know that I’m happy for you. And please hug your father a bit tighter at the end of your dance. You don’t know how lucky you are.