To The Girl Who Hides During Father-Daughter Dances

Photo: Winnie Bruce / The Winnie Collection via Canva
father daughter dancing

By Skylar Jones

In 2019, I lost my dad, and every day since, I’ve learned to cope with this loss.

There are days when I’ve cried my eyes out, and there are other days when losing my dad doesn’t make me as upset. Regardless, I miss my dad each and every day.

My dad and I were best friends, and since he passed, I can’t help but think of the things that he won’t get to see me do later in my life.

He’ll never see me graduate from college or have kids. He won’t get to meet the man I fall in love with or his future grandchildren.

RELATED: My Hardest Goodbye: Coming To Terms With Losing My Dad At 21

The saddest thing for me, though, is that my dad won’t be able to give me away on my wedding day.

When I was growing up, my dad was there for everything. He cheered me on at all my graduations, my school concerts, and all of the other major events in my life. I always dreamed of the day he’d walk me down the aisle and give me away to the man I would spend the rest of my life with.

I spent years picturing dancing with him at my wedding, and it’s so hard to accept the fact that I won’t get to do a father-daughter dance with my dad.

Since my dad passed, this has been the hardest thing for me to accept.

When I hear about father-daughter dances, I always get quiet and feel my heart sink. Of course, people should be able to talk about these special moments and cherish them, but remembering that I no longer have my dad to dance with is hard at times.

It reminds me of the fact that I’ll never get to experience that moment for myself.

Sure, I have many wonderful men in my life who could fill in for my dad on this special day. My brothers, uncles, and my dad’s close friends all mean a lot to me, but it won’t be the same as dancing with my dad.

I’d honestly rather skip the father-daughter wedding dance altogether than have someone fill the spot that was always reserved for my dad.

I went to a wedding recently — the first wedding I attended since my dad passed. I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to the father-daughter dance, so I planned on excusing myself to the ladies’ room when it started.

But unfortunately, the dance came up more quickly than I expected.

RELATED: Why Parenting After My Dad Died Was Nearly Impossible

I had no warning, and I didn’t have a chance to excuse myself, so I remained at the table and tried to put on a brave face. This was the bride’s moment with her dad, and she absolutely deserved to have it, but as the music played, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.

The ladies at my table hugged me and held my hands, but it was so difficult to enjoy the moment as I tried to contain my emotions.

Unfortunately, this is something that I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life, and I wish I could change that.

I would give anything to have my dad here with me to experience all the amazing things to come and to dance with me on my wedding day. Sadly, though, I can’t change what happened to him and, at times, it’s really hard to come to terms with.

Women who are fortunate enough to have this special dance with their fathers or father figures, please cherish it. Be extremely thankful for every moment of the dance because there are girls who would do anything to dance with their dads on their wedding days.

And for the girls and women who understand how I feel and who might go hide in the ladies’ room like I tried to, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this loss as well.

I’m here for you, and I promise to hold your hand and hug you tightly at the table or in the bathroom as we cry together. No one deserves to be alone during such a hard moment, and I want to be there for you too.

As I sit here crying with tears in my eyes, I ask you to do one thing. If you’re fortunate enough to have your dad in your life, give him a hug, and tell him how much he means to you.

If you’re one of the women who feel my pain, remember how strong you are. I love you, and I feel this pain with you. You’re not as alone as you feel.

RELATED: Why I Regret Not Reconciling With My Father Before My Wedding Day

Skylar Jones is a writer who provides a voice for women on topics of heartbreak and relationships. Visit her author profile on Unwritten for more.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.