To encourage you to keep going.
To remind you to be strong.

Published on February 10, 2019 in Blog1, Picture Quotes, Revive
18
63
Today, I witnessed a story of love. Not the type of love shared by young people who are half full of passion, topped off with hormones. It was not the type of dewy love experienced by newlyweds who are enthralled with the idea of exclusive devotion and the happily ever after.
In such a world as ours, where vows are broken as quickly as the downing of a gavel, what I saw today was a rarity, a diamond exquisite in design.
Today I saw a man, a broken man, standing vigil over his most prized possession. Here was love personified.
When he walked into the room his steps were faulty, but his determination was undaunted. His eyes were fixed upon his destination at the front of the room. A steel grey casket sat under the colored lights. Half of its lid was propped open; the closed half held a spray of vivid, mix-matched flowers adorned with ribbons which read the words “wife” and “mother.”

Upon approaching and without pause, he leaned down and kissed her painted lips, his frail body trembling to keep upright.
So gentle and soft came his words to her. Surely these words were spoken innumerable times, but this time it was shrouded in finality.
“I know you can’t hear me,” he whispered. “But, I love you.”
And his tears fell.
Family visitation was not scheduled for another hour or so, but he had come early. He wouldn’t squander these last few hours. For over 60 years she had been by his side, but it still wasn’t enough. Not near enough.
So, he pulled up a chair and they sat.
A cane on his right side, his deceased wife on his left, he sat sidled up to the casket for nearly an hour. He rubbed her arms and patted her hands. It was if he was comforting her, but the truth was, he was comforting himself.
It didn’t seem to bother him that her skin was cold, her body stiff and rigid; nor did it bother him that she didn’t respond to the words he whispered. Strange as it seemed, this could have been a normal scene from any given evening within their home. Except for the plethora of lavish flora and small gifts sent by sympathetic friends, this scenario seemed completely normal.
When family began to trickle in, he was still sitting there, holding her hand, stroking her hair.
“She looks good, doesn’t she?” he asked when his children approached. Everyone agreed. And they cried.
For nearly five hours he stayed nearby, exhausted, spent, until his body demanded he retire and his mind pleaded for respite.
This man, this devoted man, had shown more grace in his time of grief than many do in times of plenty. I stood by in awe, watching faithfulness on display.
Never had I seen a man so broken, robbed of his happiness by the curse of death. I wondered as I watched him, what would he do tomorrow and the day after that? Today was the easy part. Today she was still here, lying beside him, able to be touched or seen or kissed. Tomorrow, after she is laid deep in the ground, and he returns to their home, what then?
Her things will still be there – the smell of her skin, scribbled grocery lists, her favorite chair, leftovers in the fridge, their bed. Their bed. How does one sleep alone after 59 years of lying next to your best friend? I can’t imagine ever sleeping again.
Today, I witnessed a story of love. And I shall witness it again tomorrow when the story finally ends, and the stage is empty, and the lights go dark.

Written by: April Yurcevic Shepperd

Writer’s Note: At the request of the Bobby Moore and his family, I am sharing this narrative and photograph. This story was never meant to be seen by anyone. It was written solely for my own healing and to digest the very poignant moment I had just experienced. As I watched Bobby with his wife, I knew I was privileged to share a moment that conveyed volumes of time. As a photojournalist, I know photographs such as this capture verbs. It is a window into the event; a bearing witness, if you will. The Moore family have hope that publishing this piece will grant healing to others.

About The Author:
April Yurcevic Shepperd is a seasoned print and photojournalist, her passion is capturing a moment in time through photographs or the printed word. She feels that nothing compares to releasing your shutter, knowing that single frame tells the whole story; or writing so vividly, her readers can see through her words. You can follow her on her Facebook photography page.


18 Comments

  1. Grace Kamantas February 12, 2019 Reply

    This is beautiful and so so true about you and your true love !! I still have those feelings !!

  2. susan February 16, 2019 Reply

    So beautiful. I think people were cut from a different cloth then. So few are committed to anything especially a relationship. So sad .

  3. Michelle Geraghty February 18, 2019 Reply

    So beautifully written, it brought me to tears.

  4. Linda February 18, 2019 Reply

    Such a deep love is so wonderful to see! I lost my husband 9 years ago sometimes it seems like yesterday sometimes like so long ago! I was 17 and he was 19 when we married. People say get on with your life but they just don’t understand that you’ve been with your love for so long it’s just one life! It was our life as one together and you don’t just get over it! God has comforted my heart and I hope God will comfort his!!

  5. Erin Pineur February 21, 2019 Reply

    This is my grandpa Bobby Moore. He drives by her grave each and every day. We put new flowers for each season. He always wants to make sure her grave has her favorite flowers. For Christmas we put red poinsettias that was her favorite Christmas flower. We miss her each and every day but he is coping well with her loss. It helps him to drive by just to see her grave. Although it is on a hillside he can’t walk down by himself so if he wants to walk down the hill one of us always go with him. He usually just drives by.

    • Author
      Brigitte February 22, 2019 Reply

      Thank you so much for your update on your Grandpa. My condolences to you and to your Grand-father and family. We are so blessed to have been part of such a beautiful story. Thank you.

  6. Paul Martin Hammond February 22, 2019 Reply

    This is the ultimate meaning of absolute true love, no more no less would not get anywhere close to what you see in that photo, the most beautiful and saddest thing I could ever want to see as long as I live, God Bless Them Both xx.

  7. Patricia Moar February 23, 2019 Reply

    I worked in the industry and this wasn’t as rare as you might think. There are couples who are very close live a very long time together and it’s not unusual to to see them having a very hard time letting go of each other or to see one died within two or three months of the other one if not weeks or days

  8. Patricia wimberley February 23, 2019 Reply

    I can’t read this with out crying not only because of this man having to go through this but I know it may be selfish but I truly hope that I go before my husband.i love him so much it hurts just thinking about it

  9. Mel Pickrell February 23, 2019 Reply

    What a beautiful love story.

  10. penny s sabisch February 23, 2019 Reply

    Aww that poor guy that is really sad I hope his family his kids helped him with things after his wife was gone. It’s amazing how much he loved her to have a love like that wow. It brought tears to my eyes.

  11. Joyce Brown February 23, 2019 Reply

    Thank you for sharing w/ the World,such a beautiful Love Story.I pray the Lord some day will put such a Loving,caring, beautiful soul(Man)that you described here.He will!I can feel it in my soul,just a matter of time.Thank you n God Bless you.

  12. Mrs. Boss Myers March 9, 2019 Reply

    I’m crying reading this. What a great man. Bless his heart!
    ❤❤❤

  13. Sarah March 10, 2019 Reply

    Love like this warms my soul, but heart breaking to see ones partner pass, reminds me off my dad who is still in grief after the loss of my mother 6 years ago, they had 75 years knowing each other, loving each other and having 8 children and lots of grand children together. But one thing is for sure they had real love the like we don’t see today where marriage lasts rarely and divorce becomes the easy option. True love is just like this poor man who will never forget his love.

  14. Kamande Esther April 1, 2019 Reply

    Oh wow! so beautifully written, yet so painful to read!

  15. Amie Waggerman April 1, 2019 Reply

    Tears flowed as I read this, such a beautiful love story but with great love always comes the greatest sadness as well. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the update you are one lucky grandson to have gotten to see this first hand.

  16. Keith Whitmore April 2, 2019 Reply

    [email protected] read this article with tears in my eyes. Thinking about him & his wife of 60 years together. Thinking about them, then thinking about my wife & I. You see, we are both very sick. Many moons ago I told my Lord God that I am putting my life into his hands. They say he works in screwy ways, I found out that my wife had asked him the same thing. I went 1/2 way around the world to marry my soulmate. And, now that we are both sick, I have no idea on how I can continue without her, when and if that time comes.

  17. White Angel June 8, 2019 Reply

    Hi how sweet and heartbreaking story….This is so beautiful, Losing a wife or a husband through death is not easy to go through, when you lost a wife or a husband your whole being dies within them too.I can imagine and feel how this man feel.Oh how sweet and stay loving, I hope he is coping up….I am 38 years old and I lost my husband a year ago,over cancer though my husband was 28 years older than me, He was the person who loved me next to my parents…It’s really hard it is really not easy to accept and live everyday knowing that the person you wanted to be with till forever is gone…But we always carry the love in our hearts for our spouses.When I lost my parents i thought it was the most painful journey one has to go through but i was wrong losing a wife or a husband is zillion times painful…I am in so much awe with this guy…God bless you…

Add comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.