A touching photo of a man sitting beside a memorial for his late wife at his granddaughter’s wedding in West Virginia has drawn attention online.
The photograph was taken by Sahrah Elswick on Saturday during her wedding reception and shows the man, whom she calls ‘Pawpaw,’ sitting beside his late wife’s rocking chair.
A framed picture in the seat of the white chair has the words “We know you would be here today if heaven wasn’t so far away,” printed inside. Decorative lights and four photographs of ‘Mawmaw’ and other family members also adorn the rocking chair.
The bride posted the photographs to Twitter and later received comments from others who were grieving their own losses.
“This is beautiful but also I could cry. One of the main reasons I’ve been so hesitant to actually go through w a wedding is bc my dad won’t be there to walk me down the aisle or give me away or do a father daughter dance. It makes me so sad. Glad you could have her there somehow,” one comment said.
In a similar instance, a Pennsylvania man who recently lost his sister in a car accident planned to release monarch butterflies as a special memorial to her during his own wedding this month.
However, the butterflies decided to stay for the entire day after they were released. The creatures landed on family members and guests, and the bride even had two cling to her dress as she walked down the aisle.
“There’s a common belief that our loved ones visit us sometimes as butterflies,” wrote wedding photographer Jessica Manns on her Facebook page following the event. “As they released the butterflies, they wouldn’t fly off.”
The photographs of ‘Pawpaw’ at the wedding as he sits with his late wife’s rocking chair has garnered more than 18,000 retweets and has been ‘liked’ 160,000 times.
A Twitter user replied to Elswick’s post about her grandfather and said “I rarely reply in Twitter, but this is love. These pictures say so much about your pawpaw. Thank you for sharing. You are lucky to have such a great role model of what marriage should look like.”