Weddings often bring tears of joy to those in attendance, but a pair of emotional photos from one woman’s special day are now making thousands of strangers across the internet cry.
On Saturday, Sahrah Elswick, who recently celebrated her nuptials with husband Zachery in Alderson, West Virginia, shared images of her grandfather (whom she calls “Pawpaw”) on Twitter.
“Pawpaw sat and ate with Mawmaw today at my wedding,” Elswick wrote, along with a sad face emoji and two pictures of her grandfather sitting in front of a special memorial dedicated to his late wife.
The loving tribute to Elswick’s grandmother was a simple white rocking chair decorated with photos of her and a sign that read: “We know you would be here today if heaven wasn't so far away."
“It meant everything to me to see this at my wedding. It was so important that she be a part of my day because we were very close and I’m so glad I did it because now I see that it meant even more to him,” Elswick told TODAY Food.
Pawpaw, whose name is Billy Gray, was married to his wife Barbara for 45 years. In 2017, the woman affectionately known as “Mawmaw” passed away. According to Elswick, her grandparents had a “fun, loving relationship."
“They were rarely serious and stayed happy and [made] each other laugh," said said. "They stuck together through everything. They never really had much but it didn’t seem to matter at all to them."
Elswick said that while the other wedding guests were seated at the tables during dinnertime, her grandfather simply veered off toward the memorial and sat down on the hay alone. When she asked Pawpaw why he went to sit at his wife’s memorial during dinner, he told his granddaughter that he “just wanted to sit with her and be there with her."
“When I saw him sitting there I immediately burst into tears I was just so heartbroken and also in awe at how much he loved her,” the newlywed added.
Elswick hasn't been the only person who was touched by the special moment. The tweet, which was posted on Saturday, quickly went viral, garnering over 170,000 likes and nearly 20,000 comments by Wednesday.
Many shared similar stories of their own grandparents' enduring love.
Others were just simply very touched by the images.
Both Elswick and Pawpaw have been shocked by how much people seem to love the photos.
Said Elswick, “I didn’t think it would get this much attention at all. Pawpaw was shook when I told him."