Widower honors his wife's memory by recreating their photos
Rafael Del Col from Maringá, Brazil, was only 20 years old when he met 17-year-old Tatiane. He was instantly smitten and the two grew incredibly close, spending all their time together. After six happy years as a couple, they were about to take the big leap of marriage and — as many choose to do — they hired a photographer to have some couple shots taken before the wedding. A few years into their marriage, they were blessed by the arrival of a daughter, Raisa.
But tragedy struck when in 2013 Tatiane was killed in a car accident. She was only 27 years old. Rafael was devastated. Nevertheless, for his two-year-old daughter's sake, he had to find a way to carry on with his life.
Rafael has never forgotten Tatiane. To honor her memory, he decided to recreate the photos they took before their wedding, but with their daughter Raisa taking her mother's place. The results are both adorable and poignant.
Then four-year-old Raisa really was turning into her mother's doppelgänger. Rafael went to great care to recreate Tatiane's style and outfits for the new photoshoot.
Such beauties! What a lovely way to keep Tatiane's memory alive. And it looks like father and daughter were having fun too. Here the family pup gets in on the action!
You can tell from the original pictures what a loving pair Rafael and Tatiane were. Now Rafael is channeling all that love into his precious daughter.
There's no doubt Tatiane would have been proud of her beautiful mini-me. And to delight in seeing these smiles.
Rafael keeps a blog where he documents his journey as single father. He hopes that his experience can help other surviving partners face the difficult process of rebuilding their lives without their loved ones. "Shortly after I lost my wife, I was seeking help regarding early widowhood and also paternity without the presence of the mother and found almost nothing. Now, thank God, things are adjusting slowly, my daughter is well, and is growing, developing normally. But beside my responsibilities with my princess, I need to deal with feelings of grief, and the loss of my partner with whom I lived for 10 wonderful years."
Rafael was fortunate to have found a love so strong and treasures the daughter he has from that bond. And, as it turns out, his warm and loving nature has brought someone special into his life once again. Her name is Magrelinha and from the look of things, this is one happy combined family.
It's hard to imagine everything that Rafael and Raisa have been through, but their love and strength is really something to behold. A beautiful legacy.