Photo of elderly man sitting with late wife’s memorial at wedding touches millions of hearts around the world

An elderly man, who sat beside his late wife’s memorial at his granddaughter’s wedding did not know that “his little act of love” was so public.

Sahrah Elswick, 20, a West Virginia stay-at-home mother, tweeted a picture of her 71-year-old grandpa, Billy Gray, sitting at a homemade memorial for his late wife Barbara at Elswick’s July 6 wedding in Alderson, West Virginia, with his dinner.

“Pawpaw sat and ate with mawmaw today at my wedding,” Elswick posted on Twitter Sunday, sharing a nostalgic picture that had 19,000 shares and 175,000 likes.


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Barbara, then 64, passed away from cancer of the colon two years earlier. “It was very unexpected,” Elswick says to Yahoo Lifestyle. ““She was the kindest and sweetest soul I have ever known — she was so proud to be a mom and grandma.”

Gray first met his wife in their Alderson neighborhood while gathering litter. When Gray passed on his way, she had been standing outside her home, and he believed she was lovely, Elswick claims. They were married for 45 years.

“They were the textbook definition of pure, unconditional love,” Elswich says to Yahoo Lifestyle. “They always stuck together and they were so happy — always joking around and making each other laugh.”

The bride says she didn’t realize that her grandpa was sitting at her memorial until someone brought it to her attention. “I burst into tears right away,” Elswick informs the lifestyle of Yahoo. “It just blew away from me.”

“I wanted to sit with her,” Gray explained to his granddaughter. While Gray “doesn’t fully comprehend the internet,” he understands he’s been viral, Elswick claims. “He never meant so much attention for his little act of love.”


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