Vieneese Stanton knew her time with her ailing father was precious when he walked her down the aisle in her impromptu hospital wedding.
Stanton, 27, made headlines last month when she opted to have her wedding at a California hospital so that her dad, a cancer patient, could walk her down the aisle. Just weeks after the sweet ceremony, her father Preston Rolan has passed away.
“I was in disbelief,” Stanton tells PEOPLE, revealing that doctors called her with the news early Monday morning. “I knew his time was very limited. I actually thought he would pass today or tomorrow, but hearing it was totally different.”
He died at around 12 a.m. Monday morning, she says.
Rolan, 64, was diagnosed with acute leukemia in February, Stanton previously told PEOPLE. She and her husband, Douglas, originally planned to wed in April 2018, but scheduled the ceremony sooner after learning that Rolan had only a few weeks left to live.
“I’ve lost my Superman. I know he’s in a much better place and I know he’s no longer struggling, but I’m feeling a little selfish,” ” Stanton wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “That phone call hurt, the news hurt and even my last visual of him hurts.”
On Nov. 16, Vieneese, 27, and 30-year-old Douglas, of Richmond, California, wed at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, surrounded by friends, family and hospital staff members.
Photos of the ceremony showed Stanton sporting a wide smile as she and her father walked arm-in-arm down the hospital’s halls. The nurses and guests stood on the sidelines, clapping and snapping photos.
“He was completely surprised. He really was about to start crying. He was bragging. He was telling all the nurses, ‘This is my daughter. This is my daughter!’ ” Stanton told PEOPLE at the time.
Although the pain of losing a loved one is never easy, Stanton says she’s glad her father is no longer suffering.
“I saw him physically in his final days of life and he definitely was not himself anymore. He was already gone, as far as his personality,” she tells PEOPLE. “He wasn’t talking. He wasn’t eating. I’m happy that he doesn’t have to go through that anymore. He doesn’t have to feel like that anymore.”
Stanton also spoke of her late mother, who died in 2009, telling PEOPLE that Rolan, 64, never remarried or even dated after her death.
“My dad loved my mom very much,” she says. “I know he’s extremely happy to be reunited with my mom.”
Doctors held off putting Rolan into hospice care so he could attend his daughter’s wedding. Stanton spoke through tears then as she lamented saying goodbye to her father.
“He’s someone who always gives me wisdom, he is always making sure I make the right choices,” Stanton says. “I’m definitely going to miss his wisdom over all. He was full of humor, so I will miss laughing with my dad. There’s so much about his personality I will definitely miss.”
Stanton, who is five months pregnant, says she plans to tell her daughter all about Rolan. She says she’s heartbroken that her little girl won’t get to meet her grandfather.
“There’s definitely a huge void. I feel very empty. I feel very sorry for my baby.” she tells PEOPLE. “She won’t have her maternal grandparents. I know that I have a void so I know my my baby will have that same void. Not having that grandparent connection.”
Still, Stanton wrote in her post that her father’s memory will always live on.
“I love you soooo much. I will never forget the things you’ve taught me,” Stanton wrote in the post. “You made me believe in the impossible, have faith in God no matter what my eyes saw, keep my word no matter what, and you gave me strength and confidence that I never knew I had.”
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