At the beginning of this month, John Polo found a photo of his late wife in the wedding dress she never got to wear and shared the sad story on Facebook.
John Polo is a widower, step-dad, author, blogger, speaker and life coach. He met the love of his life, Michelle, at a young age and the two dated for a year in high school. They reunited 8 years later and decided to spend their lives together. On the Facebook page he started in her honor, called Better Not Bitter Widower, John posted the photo of his wife in a wedding dress and shared his heartbreaking story.
“We were married at the courthouse a few days before her first surgery was scheduled to take place,” he explained. “We rushed there. To become man and wife. Not knowing if she would make it out of the surgery alive.”
The couple then decided to have a “real wedding” after Michelle’s rare cancer came back and was diagnosed as terminal.
“She died two weeks before it was scheduled to take place,” he wrote. “I have so many regrets. Not getting to see her walk down the aisle is atop that list. But, she got that dress. Her dream dress. She loved that dress SO much. While at hospice, she would talk to people about how great the wedding was going to be. She wasn’t coherent enough to realize that she wasn’t going to make it to there. Michelle died without me ever seeing her in that dream dress.”
“That’s my wife. In her wedding dress. A wedding dress that I never got to see her in.”
John found the photo on Michelle’s phone a week after her passing.
“I lay motionless in bed, both happy and devastated,” he explains. “Tears flowing down my cheeks as I laughed aloud at the memory of how giddy it made her. My bride. In her dress.”
John says he wants to live a “long life,” remarry, have grandkids and teach the world about love, loss and grief, but he also yearns for the day when he is reunited with Michelle.
“When it is my time, I am running up there. No — I am sprinting up there!” he said. “To see her.”
John’s story was met with sadness and sympathy by many readers.
“I feel for you it is hard,” one Mad World News reader commented on the site’s Facebook page.
“How wonderful to have that memory of her in the dress she loved, she looks gorgeous!” another wrote on the Facebook post. “I imagine finding this picture has been bitter-sweet for you. I’m so sorry for your loss, but know that she is smiling down from heaven, happy that you finally got to see her in the dress.”
“What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful bride,” added another. “You found that picture for a reason. I am sure she was smiling down as you saw it.”