When April Yurcevic Shepperd took a picture of widower Bobby Moore sitting next to his wife Jerry's casket, she didn't think anyone would ever read about Bobby's story.
However, Moore and his family requested that the photojournalist share the picture online, which she did on Facebook on 31 January. "As I watched Bobby with his wife, I knew I was privileged to share a moment that conveyed volumes of time," Yurcevic Shepperd wrote.
The photograph of the intimate moment was shared more than 1,700 times and has gathered more than 1,900 Facebook reactions since it was posted.
It shows Moore, sitting on a chair and supported by a cane, in deep thought as he looked down his wife's body, which lays in the open casket.
They had been married for almost 60 years before she passed away, but the widower was not ready to say goodbye, according to Yurcevic Shepperd. "Today I saw a man, a broken man, standing vigil over his most prized possession. Here was love personified," she wrote.
Bobby and Jerry had made their life in Kentucky. They had 5 kids, 13 grandchildren and 21 great grand kids.
Moore arrived to see his wife one last time an hour before the family visits were due. He stood by her, kissing her lips, then said in a quiet voice: "I know you can't hear me. But, I love you." He spend the next hour stroking her arm, arranging her hair. "It was [as] if he was comforting her, but the truth was, he was comforting himself," writes Yurcevic Shepperd.
The photographer recounts that Moore stayed quietly by his wife's side until his family arrived. "It didn't seem to bother him that her skin was cold, her body stiff and rigid; nor did it bother him that she didn't respond to the words he whispered," she writes. "Strange as it seemed, this could have been a normal scene from any given evening within their home."
For nearly 5 hours, regardless of his own exhaustion, Moore stayed next to her, in order to make the most of his last moments with her.
"In such a world as ours, where vows are broken as quickly as the downing of a gavel, what I saw today was a rarity, a diamond exquisite in design," Yurcevic Shepperd wrote.
Her Facebook post ends on a grim observation of what Moore's return to his home would be like, "How does one sleep alone after 59 years of lying next to your best friend? I can't imagine ever sleeping again."
Bobby Moore and his family asked the photographer to share the picture online in hopes it could help other deal with their own grief.
Some of the people leaving comments on the pictures knew Bobby and Jerry and praised how attached to each other the couple were. One of Bobby and Jerry's grandchildren, Erin, wrote: "For over a year he [didn't] leave her side he was right there by her even when her mind was going and she would get so mad at him and call him idiot."