Ben Nunery lost his wife, Ali, to lung cancer in 2011, which was only a year after they had their first child together. When their daughter was three years old, he made headlines across the world after recreating photos from their wedding day.
Now four, Olivia is a happy child but sometimes still wonders why her friends have mothers and she does not. Ben, 35, runs a marketing firm and has revealed how he dealt with the attention from his and his daughter’s very touching series of photos. They received so much love and support globally.
The attention they received reminded him of Ali and their memories together. They had planned to spend the rest of their lives together, but she was taken away from him so young. The recreation of their wedding photos with Olivia was done in 2013 after he made the decision to sell their family home.
After the photos went viral, Ben had a chance to speak to many people who had lost their loved ones. They shared their stories and helped each other in their time of grief.
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When his wife died, Ben was terrified of being a single parent. The support he received from the photo series increased his confidence as a father. They still live in Ohio but in a different part of Cincinnati.
Ben has talked about how learning simple things like going to the grocery store and taking care of a one-year-old were overwhelming, but he has learned and gotten better at parenting. He feels he is a good father to Olivia. He credits his relatives and friends for helping him out. They have helped him adapt to his new reality that he is now comfortable in.
He describes the photographs as “beautiful reminders of the past” and not “painful reminders of loss and pain.” His daughter has also settled into life in their family of two. She is just like any other four-year-old. Whenever Olivia asks why she doesn’t have a mommy, Ben reminds her that she does have a mommy, but she just can’t see her.