An older man sitting next to a casket was spotted in a sweet yet sad situation, with a deep sense of loss weighing on his heart and spirit. The person he had spent six decades of happy marriage with was lying inside the casket. She was the love of his life.
In February 2018, Columbia, Kentucky, woman April Yurcevic Shepperd made a message on Facebook that connected with thousands of people. It captured an event she had witnessed firsthand that completely changed her perspective on life, love, sadness, and loss.
She had the urge to take a picture of the moment even though she knew she would always remember it. And that’s exactly what she did, expressing her ideas and emotions in a post written exclusively for her mental well-being and enlightenment.
Facebook/Moore’s Pool Room
But as it turned out, the moving image and the good story that accompanied it deserved to be seen by as many people as possible. She made her social media post public after receiving approval from the Moore family, who wanted her to tell the tale so that people would know true love existed.
It was his distinctive manner of respecting his favorite person while comforting himself in his most precarious position.
The photograph that she posted showed a man called Bobby Moore sitting next to the casket of his recently dead wife. Even though he was in such close vicinity to the person he cherished, it was abundantly evident from his posture and facial expressions that he could not reach out and touch her. Shepperd has written:
“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 Observation
Shepperd characterized it as a “tale of love” and said she experienced something profoundly genuine in a world dominated by young people’s intense romance and couples’ enthralling affection. She went on to say:
“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 resident of Kentucky said that she saw love and devotion personified in the face of Bobby, sitting alongside his wonderful wife, Jerry Elaine Lawless Moore, who passed away on January 7, 2018. She said she saw love and devotion personified in the face of heartbroken Bobby.
Facebook/April Yurcevic Shepperd
A Soft Voice of Love
Shepperd recalled seeing the older man stumble while desperately looking for something. When he did, he stopped before a coffin with the words “wife” and “mother” written on it and the object of his affection.
He didn’t waste any time and went down to offer Jerry a loving kiss, his frail body quivering while he did so. As said by Shepperd:
“So gentle and soft came his words to her. Surely these words were spoken innumerable times, but they were shrouded in finality this time. ‘I know you can’t hear me,’ he whispered. ‘But, I love you.’ And his tears fell.”
Bobby had come early and spent an hour with his wife before the family visitation, showing his love and desire to remain with her for as long as possible. Despite spending six decades with her, he wanted to cherish their last few moments together.
Bobby pulled a chair up and sat close to his companion, caressing her arms and touching her hands, aware that time was of the essence. It was his distinctive manner of cherishing his favorite person and comforting himself in his most risky situation.
Having trouble letting go
Shepperd revealed that until family and friends arrived, Bobby sat next to the coffin, holding Jerry’s hand and petting her hair. He looked at his kids as they got close to him and stated
“She looks good, doesn’t she?” They all nodded, unable to keep their tears from falling.
Facebook/April Yurcevic Shepperd
Bobby stood by his wife for over five hours, the coffin on his left and his cane to his right. Shepperd watched the troubled older man and couldn’t help but feel his pain as various questions tore through her emotions.
Knowing he wouldn’t be able to touch or kiss her again after the funeral made her wonder how he would feel. She described how difficult it was for her to picture a sad Bobby having trouble sleeping by himself at night and losing his life’s love with every fiber of his body.
The heartfelt article written by the photojournalist quickly went viral, drawing tens of thousands of responses and comments from web users who were deeply moved by the heartbreaking scene:
“Thank You, April…for sharing…it portrays their love as it truly was…everlasting and true…”
— (@anita.kassem) February 1, 2018
“Thank you…I grew up with this beautiful family down the street and witnessed their love for many years. Your testimony is heartbreaking and beautiful. Thank you again.”
— (@melissa.rodgers2) February 1, 2018
“Such a powerful and precious love caught in your beautiful narrative and tribute (sic).”
— (@nnette.slaven.3) February 1, 2018
What a moving depiction of two people’s shared, heartwarming love that is both terrible and beautiful!
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