During her daughter’s wedding day, Katie Couric had an emotional memorial for her late first husband, Jay Monahan.
Earlier this month, the veteran journalist shared the full text of her moving speech on her website. To begin, Couric offered thanks to her friends and family members who supported her in the address as she raised her daughters Ellie, 29, and Carrie, 25.
After reminiscing on joyous memories with her friends and family, Couric then transitioned to honoring her late husband, who died of colon cancer in 1998 at age 42.
“I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t tell you that for many years I’d been dreading this day — because of the people who are not here,” she stated before mentioning the late grandparents and other relatives in the family who had passed away.
“But most of all, the father of the bride, Jay Monahan. Jay would be so proud of you both and so thrilled that Ellie married a lacrosse player. And a terrific guy,” Couric said.
Katie Couric’s Bittersweet Moment During Daughter’s Wedding Day
“When Jay was in the throes of cancer and it seemed as if the end of his life might be near, he looked at me and said, ‘You know, nothing really matters except your friends and family. ‘When everything else was stripped away, Jay understood what was essential to a meaningful life,” she continued.
“Ellie, he would be beaming to witness the woman you’ve become… and somehow, some way, I hope he is,” she added.
The former “TODAY” anchor would later find love again, with her second husband, John Molner, whom she married in 2014. Couric concluded her speech by sharing a quote from her mother, Elinor, and another from country singer Kacey Musgraves.
“My mom used to say, ‘Into everyone’s life a little rain must fall.’ Life, in fact, is a strange alchemy of joy and sorrow, hope and despair, triumphs and disappointments.
“But in the immortal words of Carrie’s favorite, Kacey Musgraves, ‘Hold tight to your umbrella, cause darling I’m just trying to tell you that there’s always been a rainbow hanging over your head,'” she said, adding to the newlyweds, “Hold tight to your umbrella, and to each other.”
In addition to Couric, the bride also made sure to include her late father in the wedding. Ellie paid tribute to her dad by walking down the aisle solo to one of his favorite songs, the “Ashokan Farewell.” The song is an American folk composition composed by Jay Ungar and his family band.
“Jay Monahan loved that song, which was used in Ken Burn’s series on the Civil War, so it was a way to honor him,” Couric wrote in an Instagram post about the special moment.