Ben Nunery and his young daughter Olivia have published a gripping and beautiful series of images in which they bid farewell to their home and to their wife and mother Ali, who died of cancer in 2011 at 31 years of age (R.I.P.).
Ben and Ali were married in 2009. Because they had just purchased their new home, they decided to take their wedding photos in the home that was to be their future. After Ali passed just 2 ½ years later, however, Ben and Olivia had to move into a new home together. To say goodbye, Ali’s sister Melanie Tracy Pace joined them for one more photoshoot in the home where Ben and Ali had their wedding day photos and where they had lived together. The resulting images, some of which even shadow the original wedding-day photos, are a touching and beautiful farewell to Ali and to their old home.
When he wrote about the experience, Ben said, “Many people have asked me how I felt while doing that photo session. What I want them to know is that this isn’t a story about grief and loss and hurt. Yes, I’ve gone through those emotions and still do but that’s not what I want people to see in these photos. This is a story about love.”
Check out the photos below, along with some more specific information about Ben, Olivia and Ali’s story.
Ben Nunery and his young daughter Olivia recreated these special photos from Ben and Ali’s wedding day to say goodbye to Ali, who passed away from cancer, and to remember the good times
On the left, a photo of Ben and Ali taken by Ali’s sister Melanie in 2009. On the right, Ben and his daughter Olivia standing together in the same doorway in December 2013
As they went through the house, Olivia stopped to play with a curling iron that had belonged to her mother. Her mom Ali had a similar photo taken on her wedding day.
Hopefully, Melanie’s photos will help Olivia remember her mother and the home where she began her life
On the left, Ben stands in their empty house in 2009 as his wife Ali comes down the stairs. On the right, he and daughter Olivia play on the same stairs in 2013
“This isn’t a story about grief and loss and hurt. Yes, I’ve gone through those emotions and still do but that’s not what I want people to see in these photos. This is a story about love,” wrote Ben
“The memories of Ali don’t live in that house,” Ben wrote of his late wife. “They live with us, in our hearts”
“I wanted to be able to show Olivia the place where her mother and I started our lives together and dreamed of raising children,” wrote Ben
On the left we see Ben and Ali on their wedding day in 2009. On the right – Ben and his daughter Olivia in 2013
Ben and Olivia with the glass angel she calls “Mommy”
Melanie said she regularly receives signs from her late sister, and that feathers often fall out of nowhere. Olivia found this white feather during the photoshoot, which reminded Melanie of her sister, Ali
Ben and Olivia are moving to a home where Olivia will have more room to play and grow
Ben learned how to play his and Ali’s wedding song, Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall In Love With You It Will Be Forever),” on the ukulele. Now he plays for his daughter
“Our lives will continue down a curvy and uncertain path, but Olivia and I will be able to look at these photos and know that for a short time there was a place where I was the luckiest man in the world, even if just for a little while,” wrote Ben
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