The day before they were married, Ben and Ali closed on their first house. As wedding photos, the couple did a fun and beautiful wedding shoot in their new home, while it was still empty. Ali tragically died of lung cancer in 2011 after a much too-short marriage to Ben, and too little time with their precious one-year-old daughter, Olivia.
Ben says that he and Olivia have spent the last two years on a rollercoaster of emotions, but he finally felt ready to say Goodbye to the home they had shared with Ali, and he wanted a way to honor the family’s journey. To capture the memory with Olivia, Ali’s sister photographed the father and daughter recreating scenes from Ben and Ali’s original wedding photos. Ben said,
I was just really looking for a way to say farewell to the house, and have some things that Olivia and I can have to…remember the house
Ben said the photo shoot brought back his old memories of Ali:
It immediately brought up memories of being there the first time. They were really good memories I cherish and want to remember. In a lot of ways, it felt like Ali was there, and doing that with Olivia I felt a closeness with both of them.
Ali’s sister, Melanie (the photographer), said that she could feel Ali’s presence and guidance during the father-daughter shoot.
Melanie posted the photos on her blog, and before long they had touched many, including those who did not know the family personally. Ben was glad that the personal undertaking to remember and cherish his wife had a positive effect on other people who saw the photos:
I hope that people can see it as evidence of a love that Ali and I shared that is still very deep, [and] that love carries on, and it doesn’t die. People who don’t know us personally but may have experience with losing a loved one can see that as an example of healing and life moving on.
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The pictures are especially timely and poignant as many lost loved ones are remembered in a particular way during the Christmas season.