In a touching yet heart-shattering state of affairs, an elderly man was seen sitting next to a coffin, with a poignant sense of loss weighing on his heart and soul. Inside the casket lay the love of his life—someone with whom he had shared six decades of wedded bliss.
In February 2018, April Yurcevic Shepperd from Columbia, Kentucky, took to Facebook and shared a post that struck a chord with thousands of people. It encapsulated a moment she had experienced firsthand—an instance that shook her to the core, altering her views about life, love, grief, and loss.
While the moment would forever remain etched in her memory, she felt the urge to capture it with her camera. And that was precisely what she did, pouring her thoughts and feelings into an emotional post she wrote solely for her personal healing and enlightenment.
The Face of True Love
But as it turned out, the image and the powerful story behind it were so phenomenally moving that they deserved to be shared with the world. So, after permission from the Moore family, who wanted her to share the story so people would know true love existed, she made her social media post public.
It was his distinct way of treasuring his favorite human and comforting himself in his weakest moment.
The picture she shared showed a man named Bobby Moore sitting beside his late wife’s coffin. His crouched state and facial expressions made it crystal clear that he could not reach out to her despite being so close to his beloved one. Shepperd wrote:
“As a photojournalist, I know photographs such as this capture verbs. It is a window into the event; a bearing witness, if you will.”
A Rare Sight
Calling it a “story of love,” Shepperd said she witnessed something profoundly genuine in a world shadowed by youngsters’ passionate romance and newlyweds’ enthralling affection. She added:
“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.”
The Kentucky resident noted that she saw love and devotion personified in the face of heartbroken Bobby, sitting beside his lovely wife, Jerry Elaine Lawless Moore, who died on January 7, 2018.
A Whisper of Love
Shepperd recalled seeing the senior citizen take faulty steps, his eyes desperately searching for something. Finally, he found the object of his affection and stopped next to a casket adorned with flowers and bearing the word “wife” and “mother.”
Without wasting a moment, he bent over and planted a tender kiss on Jerry’s lips, his fragile body shaking the whole time. According to Shepperd:
“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.”
Bobby’s love and longing to stay with his wife for as long as possible were evident from the fact that he had arrived early, spending an entire hour with her before family visitation time. Despite being with her for six decades, he wanted to make the most of their final moments together.
Knowing that time was of the essence, Bobby pulled up a chair and sat next to his partner, caressing her arms and rubbing her hands. It was his distinct way of treasuring his favorite human and comforting himself in his weakest moment..
Not Wanting to Let Go
Shepperd revealed that Bobby sat beside the coffin, holding Jerry’s hand and stroking her hair until family and friends arrived. As his children approached him, he looked at them and said, “She looks good, doesn’t she?” and they all nodded, unable to keep their tears from falling.
Bobby stayed beside his wife for nearly five hours, his cane on his right and the coffin on his left. As Shepperd observed the devastated older man, she couldn’t help but feel his pain, with numerous questions piercing her soul.
She wondered how he would feel after the funeral, knowing he could no longer touch or kiss her again. The Columbia woman expressed that it was agonizing for her to picture a crushed Bobby having trouble sleeping alone at night, missing the love of his life with every fiber of his being.
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