Heartbreaking Photo Captures Moment Bride's Grandpa Eats Wedding Meal with Late Wife's Memorial

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It was Sahrah Elswick’s wedding day, and the thoughtful bride wanted to make sure her all of her loved ones were included, even those who had already passed away.

With the wedding celebration set against a lovely summer backdrop in West Virginia, Elswick placed a white rocking chair on the lawn as a memorial to honor the loved ones that she and her husband, Zachery, had lost.

Attached to the rocking chair were several photos, with her late grandmother “Mawmaw” on the top left corner. A framed message placed on the chair read, “We know you would be here today if heaven wasn’t so far away.”

During the reception, Elswick noticed the heartbreaking moment that her grandfather, 71-year-old Billy Gray, took his meal and sat down on a bale of hay, right across from the photo of his late wife.

“Pawpaw sat and ate with mawmaw today at my wedding,” Elswick later posted on Twitter along with a photo of her grandfather, white-haired and hunched over, holding his plate.

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The bride was overcome with emotion at the sight.

“I immediately burst out into tears I was so moved,” Elswick told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal.

Her grandmother, Barbara Gray, passed away in May of 2017. Elswick has fond memories of the way her grandparents interacted with one another throughout their long marriage.

“Their relationship was fun-loving it was never ever serious with them,” Elswick told Liftable. “They were always making each other laugh or chasing each other through the house.”

“They never had a lot but it didn’t really seem to matter to them at all. And they would always show up for each other.”

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Elswick told Good Morning America that she felt it was important to include the people that meant a lot to her and Zachery, even if they could not be physically present at her wedding.

“I couldn’t really imagine having a wedding without them there,” Elswick said. “The people on the memorial were very important people in mine and my husband’s [lives] and even if they couldn’t physically be there, we wanted them to be a part of it in some way.”

The emotional photo has been circulated heavily on social media, with a bittersweet tone that is relatable to so many.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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