A woman surprised her grandmother by visiting her in a wedding dress after being told she’d suffered a stroke and wouldn’t survive to attend the ceremony.
Bethany Boykin, 25, from Wilson, North Carolina, donned her white lace gown for Dot ‘Honey’ Beaman, 87, when she realized she wouldn’t live to see her wedding day in November.
The doting granddaughter called on close friend and photographer Taylor Dail, 27, who ‘immediately dropped everything’ to arrange the emotional photoshoot.
Bethany Boykin, 25, donned her white dress for Dot ‘Honey’ Beaman, 87, (pictured together) when she realized that her grandmother would not live to see her wedding day
The photographer said ‘there was not a dry eye in the room’ on the day of the shoot – and Honey died eight days after the photos were taken
The emotional images show the heart-wrenching moment Honey opened her eyes while lying in bed to see her granddaughter stood in front of her.
Taylor said ‘there was not a dry eye in the room’ on the day of the shoot – and Honey died eight days after the photos were taken.
She was Bethany’s last surviving grandparent and she’d always hoped that she would be a part of her special day.
Office clerk Bethany said: ‘My mom went into her room first and said, “Bethany’s here to see you.”
The emotional images show the heart-wrenching moment Honey opened her eyes while lying in bed to see her granddaughter stood in front of her
Bethany said she had a very close relationship to Honey and they would see each other multiple times a week
Honey, who had suffered a minor stroke, repeatedly told her granddaughter that she looked ‘beautiful’
‘Then I went in and said, “Hey Honey, what d’you think?”
‘She opened her eyes and that was her reaction in the picture. Her first words were, “Oh, it’s beautiful!” and just kept saying over and over how beautiful it was!
‘She wanted to see every detail on that dress, like the hemline where it was altered.
‘She was still in her right mind and she knew who I was and what I was doing, she just wasn’t her normal self.
‘She couldn’t speak as loudly and it took her longer to get things out.
Bethany affectionately wiped away her grandmother’s tears after she surprised her wearing a wedding dress
Bethany picked up her dress from the seamstress, got her sister-in-law to do her hair and makeup, and enlisted Taylor for the shoot in order to show her grandmother
Honey was Bethany’s last surviving grandparent and she’d always hoped she would be a part of her special day
‘I always held on to the fact I would at least have her at my wedding even if my grandfather wasn’t.
‘Even when I kind of knew that she wasn’t going to be at my wedding I still held on to the hope deep down inside that she would make it, but I knew on the outside that it wasn’t realistic.
‘So I made the shoot our moment, and that was more than enough for me.’
Bethany and now-husband Blake Boykin, 26, were planning their wedding when Honey suffered a minor stroke on July 7.
‘We took her to the hospital who eventually sent her back home, but she still wasn’t very alert,’ Bethany said.
‘The doctors said they didn’t foresee her living much longer, and might have to go into a hospice for her end-of-life care.
Bethany and now-husband Blake Boykin, 26, were planning their wedding when Honey suffered a minor stroke
Bethany married husband Blake on November 14 in Nashville, North Carolina, but still felt the presence of her grandmother who died eight days after the photoshoot
‘They didn’t give an estimated time at the beginning, it could have been from a week to six months, but the nurse was honest with us and said we probably had a few weeks with her.’
Realizing her grandmother likely wouldn’t survive to see her November wedding day, Bethany decided to visit her in her dress to share a special moment.
She picked up her dress from the seamstress, got her sister-in-law to do her hair and makeup, and enlisted Taylor for the shoot, on July 14.
They visited Honey at home where she was being cared for by nurses.
Photographer Taylor said: ‘It was surreal to capture such a special moment like that.
‘As a photographer I see a lot of different and very unique moments, but this one was by far the best moment I have ever captured.
‘Just being able to see Honey open her eyes to Bethany was so amazing – I really have no words for it.
Bethany visited Honey at home for the photoshoot where she was being cared for by nurses
‘Everyone in the room was laughing and crying; happy tears of course! It was such a sweet and memorable moment that I’m so glad I got to capture.
‘That day Honey had been more awake and alive than she ever had been since she became sick.’
Honey passed away on July 22 – just eight days after the photos were taken.
Bethany said they had a very close relationship and they would see each other multiple times a week.
Bethany married husband Blake on November 14 in Nashville, North Carolina, but still felt the presence of her grandmother.
She said: ‘As I was talking to a co-worker and her daughter after the wedding about how much I wish she could’ve been there, they told me that they saw a duck at the beginning of the ceremony that came up really close, and near the end of the wedding it swam away never to be seen again.
‘We all three thought the same thing – that the duck was my grandmother giving us a little sign that she was there.’