With help from a photographer, Sierra Sharry found a way to include her late husband in her child's first family portrait

By Kelli Bender
Updated April 06, 2015 07:45 PM
Kayli Henley/Kayli Rene' Photography

Last July, Sierra Sharry, of Eakly, Oklahoma, was eight months pregnant and eagerly awaiting the arrival of her first child with her husband, Lane Smith.

Today, Sharry is the proud mom to a 6-month-old boy named Taos, but she no longer has Smith by her side. Just a few weeks before his wife gave birth, Smith suffered a fatal head injury, reports KFOR.

“July 13th 2014 was the absolute worst day of my life,” Sharry posted on Facebook. “I lost my best friend. The father of my unborn child. And since that day I have felt so empty inside. A part of me will forever be missing. I loved that man more than life itself.”

Although Smith is gone, his memory lives on. When Sharry recently went to get family photos with Taos, she wanted to make sure his dad was included in some way.

“They asked me if I would be willing to ‘play around’ with capturing their first family photo by editing Taos’s daddy in one of their pictures,” photographer Kayli Henley wrote on Facebook.

The result was a touching tribute to the lasting effect Smith has on the life of his family. Henley chose to edit in the late husband and father as a kind, ghostly figure watching over his loved ones.

Henley posted the final product to her professional Facebook page, Kayli Rene Photography, along with the story behind the picture. The photo quickly went viral, accumulating over 28,000 shares and 200,000 likes.

“Taos and I living our lives the best we can with Lane always watching over our shoulder,” Sharry wrote in reaction to the shot. “He is watching out for his little boy better than anyone and I know he’s got to be so proud.”

Moved by the new mom’s idea and Henley’s creation, numerous families have reached out to the photographer for similar family portraits.

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