Death of a Parent Grief

Walking Down the Aisle Alone

Written by Zabrina Vogelsang

Here I am embarking on one of the most exciting times of my life: Planning my wedding. I have been dreaming about this day since I was a little girl. But in all of my imaginings, you were always there.

I would be putting on the finishing touches of makeup, and you would walk in and see me, for the first time, not as your little baby girl, but as the beautiful woman you raised. A tender smile would dance with the small wrinkles around your mouth and your eyes would sparkle with joy and tears.

You would take me by the hand and embrace me and a photographer would capture the raw emotion of the moment so that I could look back on it forever.

You would lead me down the steps and to the car where you would ask me how I was feeling. I would answer only with a small, nervous laugh. We would arrive at our destination and you would whisper to me, “This is it, Pumpkin.”


We would take small steps and your arm would stay wrapped in mine, securing me in my place as the winds of change would attempt to sweep me off of my feet.

And we would walk down the aisle together. The sounds of the Spanish guitar strumming somewhere in the distance and my gaze entirely captured by the man we were nearing. I would finally catch my breath and my balance. And you would know I was ready.

You would lift my veil and all of our childhood memories would pass between us in that one moment. And you would lean into me and whisper, “You will always be my baby girl, no matter what.” securing the final safety net you always made sure was there.

The officiant would ask who was giving me away, and you would respond that you were along with my mother.

The moment would come too quickly where I would leave that altar, but not with you.

Words are incapable of capturing the exact feeling of knowing none of this will come true. I will not walk down the aisle with you because you are no longer here to fulfill that duty.

I want to scream at the top of my lungs to God and beg him to send you back down to me for just this one day. I just want my daddy to come back home.

But, you already are home, aren’t you?

I know God only gives us what we can handle. In this moment, I could not agree with Mother Teresa any more when she said, “I only wish you didn’t trust me so much.” After all, I am only human. I make mistakes. I have regrets. My life is a stained-glass window, a collage of beautiful broken images held together by my faith in the idea that everything happens for a reason.

Perhaps, I won’t see the twinkle in your eye. But I will see the twinkle in my own which you would always tell me were the most beautiful eyes you have ever seen.

Perhaps, I won’t hear the laughter in your toast when you wish us the best of luck. But I will hear my own laughter which you would always say was the most beautiful sound in the world.

Perhaps, I won’t have you by my side as I go down that aisle. But I will have the music to carry me forward and that is a bond we will forever share and I know that in every single note struck on those guitar strings, that is you.

In the end, perhaps I won’t walk down the aisle alone at all.

About the author

Zabrina Vogelsang

Zabrina Vogelsang is a Work-from-Home mom who splits her time hanging out with her (best friends) beautiful twin boys and working for a software program as a Technical Writer. She is also working on starting her own event planning business (check out more here: She spends her “downtime” binge watching shows on Netflix with her wonderful partner in crime and hiding out in the local library. She has a wide variety of interests which she loves writing and talking about with anyone who will listen!


  • I am so sorry that your Father will not be there to walk you down the aisle. I didn’t have mine either (never met him until I was older) and that was one thing I always wanted. for him to give me away and give me my father daughter dance. I know he would be so proud of you!

  • A very touching post, I hope your special goes just or even beyond how you’ve imagined to to go 😀

  • I am so sorry to hear of your loss. This was a very touching and beautiful post. You’re father may not be there physically, but I am sure he will be right beside you as you walk down that aisle.

  • I am so sorry that your Dad won’t be with you on your special day. Your post was so beautiful it bought a tear to my eye x

  • This really touched my heart! So sorry you wont have your Dad with you on this special day but you know what, you will! In your heart, always and forever!

  • I got really emotional reading this! You have your dad in your heart and i’m sure he knows that wherever he is!

  • So sorry that your dad won’t be there with you on your big day! But where he is, I’m sure he would be so happy for you!

  • I was moved by this post and tears started to form in my eyes. I had to suppress that lump that was forming in my throat. Although I was fortunate that my dad was with me on my wedding day, my sisters did not have him by their side. My youngest sister planned her wedding on my Dad’s birthday. It was so moving when my sister said, “Daddy, I know you are here. Thank you for being with me and walking me down the aisle. Dad, meet your son-in-law. I know he will make you proud.”

  • Oh gosh this is so touching! I am really sorry for your loss and I wish that when you get to walk down the aisle you’ll feel his presence!

  • I always find that interesting the passage that says that God will not give us more we can handle. And what that means is always different for different people. I really need to go back and read the passage in context. I am sorry that your dad cannot be there on your big day. But being a dad I know that he wishes he could be there only to tell you that he loves you and hopes that you have the most amazing future ahead of you. And you can see the little tear in his eye and his pride in you as you say the vows.

  • You post is very touching..I almost had tear rolling out. I’m fortunate to have both my parents with me..can’t imagine life without them around. I’m sure your dad is extremely proud of you and you have all his blessings. You’re a very strong woman. 🙂

  • This is beautiful. I especially love the stained glass imagery. Your father will be in your heart on your special day and every one after.

  • It’s such a shame you can’t have your Father with you on your wedding day I really am sorry for your loss. I hope you still have a wonderful day with all your loved ones.

  • This was really touching. Beautifully written and insightful. I hope your wedding day is marvelous, despite not having your father there.

  • This post made me tear up. I can feel the longing in each line and it just breaks my heart that he won’t be with you on such a special day. It would be nice to wear a picture of him though, like in a locket or just have anything that reminds you of him during that day.

  • What a beautiful and poignant piece about a special event and the absence of a special someone in our lives. I walked down the aisle without my Dad present and this made me wistful too… But they were/will be there in spirit.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss! I do believe your father is proud and he is with you spiritually! <3