Heartbroken bride honours memory of her deceased six-year-old daughter in her wedding photos

Ashley Frantz took this photo of bride Amanda and photo shopped Amanda's daughter Azalee into the image. Azalee was only six-yea-old when she passed away from cancer. Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

Ashley Frantz’s viral photograph of bride Amanda embracing a transparent silhouette of her young daughter Azalee, who passed away two years before her wedding. Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

A heartbroken mother, whose six-year-old daughter passed away before her big day, has had her beloved child Photoshopped into her wedding photos – and the images are breaking hearts across the globe.

American bride Amanda Crowe Freebird lost her daughter Azalee to Neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer that affects the adrenal glands, two years before she walked down the aisle. However, Amanda was determined to include Azalee in every aspect of the wedding, including the wedding photos.

Azalee left, Amanda centre, and Amanda's son Kiptyn on the right. Image: Amanda Crowe Freebird via Facebook

Azalee (L) with her mother Amanda (Centre) and brother Kiptyn (R). Image: Amanda Crowe Freebird via Facebook

Amanda had one of Azalee’s hand-drawn pictures transposed onto fabric and sewn into her wedding gown, and also asked her friend and photographer Ashley Frantz, to, somehow, honour her daughter’s memory but didn’t know how – and she certainly didn’t expect the response the touching images received.

Ashley fulfilled Amanda’s request by creating an image which shows Amanda caressing the face of a Azalee’s silhouette. The photograph, which was uploaded earlier this week, has garnered international media attention and received more than 22,000  likes.

Bride Amanda had Azalee's handrawn picture (the three love hearts) swen into the back of her dress, as a special way to have her daughter involved during her wedding day. Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

Bride Amanda had Azalee’s handrawn picture (the three love hearts) sewn into the back of her dress as a special way to have her daughter involved during her wedding day. Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

Amanda has since taken to social media to express her gratitude to her friend Ashley, commenting on Facebook,  “My girl is still making her way around he world, even after death

“Thank you Ashley for capturing such a beautiful moment for me and for helping me keep my baby alive. I love you my dear friend (sic)”

Ashley captured the moment a single butterfly placed itself next to Amanda's heart. Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

Ashley captured the moment a single butterfly placed itself next to Amanda’s heart. Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

Although the viral response is directed towards the special photo, something just as remarkable also happened on Amanda’s big day.

Amanda and her new husband Chip, a man who Azalee never had a chance to meet, released butterflies during their Louisiana ceremony, in order to honour Azalee’s memory – but “as the butterflies flew up and away, one little beauty decided she wanted to stay a while.”

“She landed right on Amanda (closest to her heart) and stayed while a heart-wrenching cry was shared between the bride and groom (and the entire congregation)…then, it flew up and perched itself on a nearby tree. It stayed there and was still sitting so peacefully even as we left.

“We all know it was Azalee, just a little whisper from her and God saying “congratulations” and letting everyone know she was nearby to help her mommy cross over into her new path of life…where there is nothing but sunshine ahead!!”


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Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

Ashley also produced a second photo of Amanda holding hands with both her son Kiptyn and a silhouette of Azalee.

Ashley captioned the photo with a heartfelt message: “Finally get to share one of the most beautiful and difficult pictures I’ve ever been asked to do. This is my wonderful friend Amanda during her bridals.

“She wanted so badly for her precious Azalee to be there with us. Azalee’s battle with childhood cancer ended 2 years ago…she went to heaven before her mommy met the most wonderful man named Chip.

“Heartbroken that her girl wouldn’t be here to experience this new journey with her,Amanda asked me to please incorporate Azalee into the pics somehow. This is the 2nd shot I came up with and I couldn’t be more pleased. It was such an honor to be able to do this for her and I’m so thankful God has given me a talent that I can use to make broken hearts just a tad less broken.”

Amanda holding hands with her son and a silhouette of her daughter Azalee, who passed away in 2013. Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

Amanda holding hands with her son and a silhouette of her daughter Azalee, who passed away in 2013. Image: Franz Photography via Facebook

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