Three Days & A Wedding Dress

January 30, 2020

Three days before my mother died I was in a boutique picking up my wedding dress. The dress she helped me pick out just a month before. Back when she was walking around, healthy and happy. I never would have imagined that I’d be picking it up, alone. Even worse, that she’d never again get to see me in it. 

Three days before my mother died she wasn’t well enough to venture to the bridal boutique, but she also wasn’t sick enough to be dying. Or so I thought. I had no idea that her missing that trip would mean things far worse than my brain could comprehend. I was still full of hope and dreams and wishes. All things that included my mother. She still had a lot of living left to do. 

I was tearful and emotional heading into the store that day. To comfort my sadness I concentrated on the fact that she may not be well enough to attend my final fitting, but in two months she’d be watching as I wore that dress on my big day. 

I looked to the future to find comfort. But the future came, and my mother wasn’t in it. 

Three days after picking up that wedding dress, she passed. 

Gone, just like that. Stolen from my future. 

The dress we had picked out together, just months before, would be a special outfit that she’d never again see me in. She’d never see the smile on my face and the tears in my eyes as I walked down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams. She’d never see me wearing the veil she insisted we purchase to go along with the dress she thought was perfect for me. She’d never see me walk into my future, arm in arm with my father, as I set out to become someone’s wife. 

She’d never see me on my wedding day. 

I never could have imagined that vision, but suddenly it became my reality. 

Three days and a wedding dress and my entire world changed.

xox, Chels

The empty seat left for my mother. xox
These are the last pictures she saw of me. The last time she set eyes on me in that dress.
2 comments so far.

2 responses to “Three Days & A Wedding Dress”

  1. Alissa says:

    Hi Chelsea, this post is so beautofully written, and I am so sorry that you’ve had to endure this unthinkable loss too soon. I appreciate you sharing this post. My experience was similar in many ways. I picked out my dress with my mom, but had to do my fittings without her because she was in the hospital. I also didnt process that she was dying and unfortunately she passed 3 weeks before my wedding. Thank you for helping this community and myself feel less alone.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Alissa, thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate them more than you know. Holding you in the light today and always. xox, Chels

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A wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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