Anna Bozman Thompson's son Lake died earlier this year in May, just before his 9th birthday, after a hard-fought battle with acute myeloid leukemia. A few weeks ago, Thompson was getting married but could not imagine taking photographs without him.
So she enlisted the help of Brandy Angel, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated photographer who, in addition to being a talented Atlanta-area wedding photographer, runs a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals — including children — with terminal cancer by sharing their stories and photos on social media. What they created is simply incredible.
In a post on a Facebook page set up to support Lake during his illness, she wrote about the results:
"They turned out beautiful and thanks to my amazing photographer she was able to get some special edits done. I needed this picture more than she or anyone could ever know. THIS is my family. And we will be together again."
The images of Thompson's wedding are all very beautiful and show a family that is full of warmth and love for one another.
It's the edited-in image of Lake standing — grinning — just off to the side with his siblings, mother and stepdad on such an important day, however, that really takes your breath away. It drives home the fact that even when we lose a loved one, they do not cease to be a part of our family.
Thompson, for her part, loves that the photo has touched so many people. In a separate post, written after her beautiful photo started to go viral, she admits she had no idea so many people would be moved by the image but that she hopes that in death, Lake will continue to touch as many hearts as he did in life:
"If today just one person regained their faith, found hope, was inspired to make a change, became an advocate for childhood cancer, joined the bone marrow registry, forgave someone, or pushed through another day because of our journey, it was worth it."
Now, can someone please pass us the tissues?
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