The wedding was slated for June 1, but Tara, 37, knew Stasia would not be able to make it. She wanted to find a way to fulfill her grandmother’s wish to attend Tara’s wedding.
Stasia died on Feb. 23.
“I knew she wouldn’t be able to make it back to Texas for my wedding,” Tara, who is a realtor, told PEOPLE. “When I heard that, I said, ‘I have to go to her. I want her to see me in my dress. And I want to get as close as I can to giving her last wish.’”
Tara decided to hide it from her family and on Jan. 28 she told her parents that she’s going to Maimi for a work trip with her fiance, Matt Bars.
She flew to her grandmother, but made sure Bars didn’t come along as she didn’t want him to see the wedding dress before the big day.
“I wanted so badly for her to see me in my dress,” Tara says. “She just touched the fabric and touched the tulle of my dress. She kept looking at my dress and looking at me.”
When Stasia told Tara that she looked beautiful, they both became teary-eyed. The bride didn’t show her family the picture until her wedding day when she surprised them with some framed photographs.
Bride Captures Touching Pics of Grandfather Eating Alone At Late Wife’s Memorial
Sahrah Elswick from West Virginia posted two touching pictures from her wedding day on her Twitter page, writing, “Pawpaw sat and ate with mawmaw today at my wedding.”
The pictures show her grandfather sitting beside a memorial that is actually a chair decorated with lights and pictures of the late grandmother. A framed note on it reads, “We know you would be here today if heaven wasn’t so far away.”
The post shared on July 6 has gathered 19,000 retweets, 171,000 likes, and an overwhelming number of responses.
Pawpaw sat and ate with mawmaw today at my wedding 🥺 pic.twitter.com/GEXWMCfgXB
— Sahrah Elswick (@sahrahMichelle) July 7, 2019
“My nan passed away 3 years ago, and at my aunt’s wedding over New year’s, there was a table set up for her next to the main table,” someone wrote in response to Elswick’s post on Twitter. “My grandad stared at it for a good 10 minutes and kissed her portrait. I hope you had a wonderful wedding and I’m sure she was so proud.”
“This is beautiful but also I could cry,” another commented. “One of the main reasons I’ve been so hesitant to actually go through a wedding is because 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.”
Another person commenting on the message, Caressa Collins, said the pictures were very sweet.
“Your wedding was beautiful and this was the sweetest thing I’ve ever witnessed. I’m glad we captured this moment and I’m sorry she couldn’t physically be there with you on your big day, but she was definitely there I love y’all!!” she said.