real life

Michelle died two weeks before her wedding. Then her widower found this photo.

It was two weeks before their wedding ceremony when Michelle Polo passed away from a rare form of cancer in January last year. Now her grieving widower John has paid tribute on Facebook, with a photograph showing Michelle trying on her “dream dress” – a dress he never got to see her wear.

“We were married at the courthouse a few days before her first surgery was scheduled to take place,” John, author of the blog Better Not Bitter Widower posted to Facebook alongside the photo. “We rushed there. To become man and wife, not knowing if she would make it out of the surgery alive.”

“After the cancer came back and she was terminal, we decided to plan a real wedding. She didn’t make it to that real wedding.”

John said it was a week after she passed away that he stumbled across a photograph in her phone, taken the day she found her “dream dress”. Michelle was so convinced they would make it to the ceremony, she’d kept the dress a secret.

“While at hospice, she would talk to people about how great the wedding was going to be,” John wrote. “She wasn’t coherent enough to realise that she wasn’t going to make it to there. Michelle died without me ever seeing her in that dream dress.”

He said when he found the photograph he laid for a while motionless in bed, “both happy and devastated”.

“Tears were flowing down my cheeks as I laughed aloud at the memory of how giddy it made her,” he wrote.

The heartbreaking post, also shared to Love What Matters’ Facebook page, has gone viral, receiving thousands of shares, likes and comments.

John says he wants to live a long life. That he wants to remarry and have children, grandchildren, and spread a message of love to the world.

But, that when the time is right: “I am running up there. No – I am sprinting up there! To see her.”

To read about the ‘overwhelming grief and guilt of Nikki Gemmell’, click here.

To read ‘this is what grief looks like’, click here.

For financial planning after the funeral, click here.