A mother has revealed how she threw her wedding dress away as of grieving her child’s terminal illness and the fact that she probably won’t see her daughter get married.
In a video shared to TikTok last month, Brittany Lagarde, @happylagardless, detailed how she “threw [her] wedding dress away,” after over a decade. She had previously kept that dress in “every single place” [she] lived,” with the “intentions” of passing it onto her daughter Sawyer, who is eight-years-old.
“I threw my wedding dress away today,” she explained. “My husband and I got married almost 11 years ago and we have held that dress [in] every single place we lived. We just moved recently and today we were cleaning out our old place and I found it shoved into the back of a closet.”
“We saved the dress with intentions that maybe our daughter would want to wear it one day, or hear about our special day, or play dress up with it,” she continued.
However, Lagarde shared that Sawyer was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome, which is a neurodegenerative disease in children and is expected to live up until her “late teens.” Ultimately, this is what the mother encourages to give her wedding dress up.
“Sawyer doesn’t even know what a wedding dress is,” she added. “My daughter has childhood Alzheimers and her life expectancy from her is mid to late teens… She’s never getting married, she has the cognitive ability of a 12 month out. So like, what’s the point of keeping it?”
“Grieving the loss of expectation is devastating,” the text over the video reads.
As noted by the National Institute of Health (Nih), Sanfilippo Syndrome, also known as Mucopolysaccharidosis type III or MPS III can cause “severe neurological symptoms, including progressive dementia, aggressive behavior, hyperactivity, seizures, and deafness.” There isn’t a specific type of treatment and most people with the disease “live into their teenage years, and some live longer.”
As of 1 April, the video has over 11.9m views, with TikTok users sympathizing with Lagarde and supporting her through her grief.
“I think throwing the dress away gave you power in what sometimes feels like a powerless situation,” one comment reads
“Someone once told me that it’s OK to grieve for the child we thought we would have and the life we expected,” another viewer wrote. “It hit home. It does n’t mean you love her any of her ess, or do n’t appreciate the amazing little girl she is, but it’s hard.
Some comments suggested that Lagarde could donate her dress to organizations that make garments for stillborn children to wear when they’re buried. One example of this would be The Angel Gown Program. Other viewers recommended her to take photos of her daughter in her wedding dress.
However, in a follow-up video, Lagarde said she didn’t know that there were places to donate the dress and that it would have been hard to take photos of Sawyer in it, since she doesn’t always sit still.
“I love you all so much for the suggestions but it’s gone and it’s OK,” she wrote in the caption. “It was healing.”
speaking to Insider, Lagarde said she doesn’t regret tossing the dress. “I was in the headspace of throwing it away because I saved it with the expectation that [Sawyer] would get married in it one day, and that wasn’t the reality,” she explained. “I don’t regret throwing out the dress because I feel like that was what was best for my grieving process and my expectations.”
The mother also expressed how “letting out [her] grief” has been “helpful” for her and that she wants to continue documenting Sawyer’s life on social media.
I want to give people a safe place to know that it’s OK that sometimes life does suck,” she said. “I don’t know what Sawyer’s future is going to look like. I do know it will end, but I can’t think about that. I know that it’s going to be OK, and that’s why letting my grief out has been the most helpful thing for me.”
Lagarde told the outlet that since Sawyer’s diagnosis, her family has become more focused on traveling together and making the most of “every moment.”
“Being able to grieve her, but also make life special with her, make memories with her, I think is what’s helped me go on,” she added. “We want to make sure every moment counts.”
The Independent you have reached out to Lagarde for comment.