Losing a loved one is extremely difficult, and even years after their passing it can still hurt. At holidays and life milestones, their absence can feel especially painful, knowing that they’re not around for those special moments.
But there are ways you can celebrate their memory, and keep their spirit alive with you at those moments.
That’s what one woman discovered recently—two years after her father’s death, she found a unique way of commemorating him on her big day.
Kait Olidis, a 28-year-old from Toronto, Canada, was devastated when she lost her father, Jim, to cancer in 2015.
“He was a great dad,” Olidis told People. “We had a pretty close family growing up and everyone was a part of it … He had a big impact on not only our life, but my friends’ as well.”
“He was the ultimate family man,” she told Inside Edition.
“He was always there, always encouraging us to do whatever we needed to do.”
After her father died, friends and family brought roses to his funeral, an appropriate choice:
“He always gave roses to my mom on Valentine’s Day,” Olidis explained. “At his service, it was like an abundance of flowers.”
So many flowers, in fact, that it seemed a shame to let them go to waste. “We decided to keep them and just dry them out.”
The family was unsure what to do with the dried flowers—but then a few months later, an opportunity presented itself. Olidis got engaged to her boyfriend, Benett, and suddenly she knew just what to do.
“I figured that I wanted to incorporate them in my wedding.”
She decided to use the dried rose pedals as confetti.
“Confetti is kind of one thing that’s a lot of fun during weddings when people are coming back down the aisle,” she told People. “So with all the rose petals that we did have, I thought it would be special to have them thrown at us.”
So after Olidis was married in August, she walked down the aisle with her new husband as she was showered with rose pedals.
While her father couldn’t be there to walk her down the aisle or dance with her, he was still part of her special day in spirit.
“That was definitely a really, really special moment,” Olidis explained.
“I kind of felt his presence even more because that was part of him, his favorite flowers.”
The rose pedals weren’t the only way her late father was remembered at the ceremony.
“We all had a little memory charm on our bouquets or corsages,” Olidis told People. “There were photos put up throughout. We had saved him a seat as well.”
And that seat was adorned with a poem:
I’m in heaven for your wedding, so what shall I do?
I’ll come down to earth to spend it with you.
So save me a seat just one empty chair.
You may not see me but I will be there.
All these touches helped the wedding be a joyous, celebratory occasion rather than a sad one.
“There have been a lot of life events that have happened since he’s been gone,” Olidis said. “[I’m going to miss] him being here.”
“The flowers kind of added a touch.”