Celebrating a life & a marriage

As she walked toward the bridge her red hair blowing in the Oklahoma wind, she was preparing for a session to celebrate her husband and their marriage. She carried sacks that were full of his things…his shirt, their ring box, and their wedding picture. This month was supposed to be their second wedding anniversary & instead it is the one year anniversary of his passing. With dry eyes but heavy spirits we began to take photos to remember their marriage and remember his life. Their wedding rings strung around her neck; her love for him was shining bright. They didn’t have as long as they wanted, but they used every moment to soak up each other. Today was about celebrating, the mourning has come and will come again, but today…was a celebration.

Chelsey & Darian met when they were just in second grade when Chelsey stole his animal crackers and apple juice one day at lunch. Their friendship grew as time continued and fast forward to after high school, they started dating. Chelsey & Darian were together for 4 years, October 14th would have made it 5. They were married on October 9th, 2015 and had 374 days of marriage until Darian went to be with Jesus on October 17th, 2016 after battling cancer.

This October marked two life-changing anniversaries for Chelsey…What would have been her second wedding anniversary & one year since Darian passed away. Chelsey said she just misses him being here. “His presence was so soothing to me, and his laugh was infectious. I notice I don’t laugh as much without him here. His sweet smile always made me react with one of my own,” she said. 

Chelsey said her favorite part of marriage was the fact that Darian was all hers. “He claimed me, and I claimed him, and we weren’t going to let anything split us apart. We couldn’t have children, so unless we adopted, it was going to be me and him for the rest of our lives. I didn’t mind the sacrifice one bit because he was worth it,” she said. 

While they didn’t get as much time together as they hoped for, Chelsey said that they lived a whole lifetime in one single year of marriage. Every day counted, every moment counted. She encouraged everyone to cherish their loved ones no matter how difficult they are. “Darian and I weren’t the perfect couple, but if given the choice, I would go through all of last year over again to spend more time with him,” she said. 


Chelsey wanted to share her story to remind everyone to let their loved ones know how much you love them, because you never know when it’ll be the end. Celebrate every moment & enjoy every smile.


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  • Reply Olivia

    This was so beautiful! The photos, the way it was written! Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing this, this widows strength is so inspiring

    October 23, 2017 at 3:33 pm
    • Reply

      She is very strong indeed. Thanks for your kind words!

      October 23, 2017 at 3:34 pm
  • Reply Nina Larsen Reed

    Ohmygosh, what a wonderfully strong woman she must be! And what a reminder to us all that getting photos and keeping mementoes is such an important part of remembering our lives <3

    October 24, 2017 at 1:45 am
    • Reply

      Yes it is so important!

      October 24, 2017 at 2:52 am
  • Reply Laura

    I’m sure it was such a honor for you to be able to help her tell her story of love and loss. Life is fleeting and it’s important to remember to have joyful moments every day!

    October 24, 2017 at 1:46 am
    • Reply

      Yes, it was a big honor. Something I am thankful for! She had a sad but beautiful story to tell

      October 24, 2017 at 2:51 am
  • Reply Ali Rost

    My goodness, what a story. Chelsey’s sweetness and kind heart were captured beautifully, not only in the photos, but in words as well. Such a vivid reminder to live each day like it was our last and to cherish the time we have with the people we love. x

    October 24, 2017 at 2:18 am
    • Reply

      She’s is exactly that! It was such an honor to do this for her

      October 24, 2017 at 2:51 am
  • Reply Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    Celebrate every moment and enjoy every smile. <– I LOVE that! What a wonderful story.

    October 24, 2017 at 3:37 am
  • Reply Emily

    I am in tears. She is so so strong and inspiring. This was written so beautifully and is a poignant reminder to live in the moment with the ones we love.

    October 24, 2017 at 3:58 am
    • Reply

      Thank you so much.

      October 24, 2017 at 10:52 am
  • Reply Sarah M Holladay

    Sweet Chelsey, you are so strong and beautiful! I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, but love the way you are moving forward and healing. Thank you for the reminder to live each day intentionally… Beautiful memories created here; I’m glad you shared.

    October 24, 2017 at 7:29 am
  • Reply Anna

    What a beautiful and touching story… I can’t imagine life without my husband. This must be very hard for Chelsey not to be able to hug her love anymore… But I’m glad she’s a strong woman and it’s so beautiful and lovely to send such a beautiful message to the world. it definitely touched my heart. Thank you.

    October 24, 2017 at 10:58 am
  • Reply Emily Moore

    This is such a heartbreaking story, but this is a really beautiful tribute to Darian. She is such a strong woman, and you did a wonderful job capturing her. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    October 24, 2017 at 11:40 am
  • Reply Alyssa Bouma

    what an incredibly beautiful tribute to him. she is so strong, and this broke my heart!

    October 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    Oh this touched my heart. I love how she chose to celebrate him with happiness. This is so special, thank you for capturing this for her <3

    October 24, 2017 at 4:57 pm
  • Reply Ali Horner

    This session is heartbreakingly beautiful. My condolences to this sweet lady

    October 24, 2017 at 7:22 pm
  • Reply flor

    Beautiful session! Emotional and touching.

    October 25, 2017 at 4:56 am
  • Reply Heather Scott

    Omg these are so gorgeous! I’m so emotional reading this, the strength and courage she had during those time is so incredible!

    October 25, 2017 at 2:20 pm
  • Reply Hayley

    What an incredibly strong woman. These are beautiful, and I’m sure it was an honor for you to be a part of her story.

    October 25, 2017 at 6:54 pm
  • Reply Emily \

    Tears! So so special and sweet! Love the photos to capture her story too. Thanks for sharing!

    October 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm
  • Reply Victoria Kolbash (Lemon)

    I don’t know how I am just stumbling upon this. Darian was my nephew and there aren’t enough words to describe the hole that has left not only in sweet Chelsea’s heart but the whole family. He was such an outstanding young man and had so much to offer the world. I love and miss you Darian…… will see you again.

    September 12, 2019 at 12:06 am
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