It was a week after his wife died when John Polo decided to scroll through the pictures on her phone to see the photos that captured moments only she'd seen.
Towards the end he flipped onto one that made him suddenly stop and become overwhelmed as he realised what he was staring at: A picture of Michelle wearing the wedding dress he never saw her in.
Michelle had died of a rare form of cancer just weeks before the wedding they'd been planning.
Describing the moment he discovered the photo, John said: "I felt proud. It was a mixture of devastation and pride that she was my wife."
The pair, who lived in the suburbs of Illinois, USA, had originally wed in a snap ceremony in 2013 just six days after Michelle was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer.
Doctors had decided to immediately remove her kidney and the dangerous surgery was scheduled for two weeks later.
The rushed ceremony in the local courthouse was far from the romantic affair John and Michelle had been planning since their engagement the year before.
The only other person in attendance was Michelle's young daughter and the bride was desperately ill throughout due to her cancer treatment.
"She was violently throwing up in the ceremony the whole time and I was holding her up because of the pain," said John. "Straight after we had to go to the ER and the nurses brought us wedding cake.
"It was too tragic to be enjoyable at all. I felt it in the hospital when they brought the cake and when I got to call her my wife. But it was a horrible experience."
Michelle's surgery was successful. Then 20 days later doctors realised she was actually suffering from another from of cancer called proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma (PES).
One specialist told the couple seeing that particular form of cancer originate in the kidney was so rare that they typically saw one case a year worldwide.
Michelle soon began more rounds of aggressive treatment, yet the couple never gave up on their dream of a wedding surrounded by friends and family.
They pair had originally met as children living in the same neighbourhood of Elmwood Park, near Chicago, and attended the same school growing up. Yet romance didn't blossom until they both moved away from the area and started returning to visit friends.
They began dating when John was 17 and Michelle was 15 but broke up after a year and didn't speak for the next eight.
In the meantime Michelle, who worked for Credit Union, had a daughter via another relationship. However their feelings for each other never dimmed.
Michelle finally got back in contact with John to offer her condolences after his father, Michael, passed away following a 13-month battle with oesophageal cancer in 2008.
She later admitted she'd been 'Facebook stalking' John but hadn't had the courage to get back in touch until that point. It took a while for the pair to rekindle their love, but when it reignited they knew it was something special and in 2012 John proposed.
"We actually talked over the phone and email for a year before we finally saw each other," said John. "Our high school love was pretty intense. We knew we were soul mates and were scared to try again, which is why it took so long to actually see each other again.
"Once we saw each other the first time again, we just knew."
The couple abandoned their original plans for their wedding when Michelle was first diagnosed with cancer. As she began to be treated for PES they revived their dream.
The pair settled on a boutique hotel in downtown Chicago as the venue. A close friend was chosen to perform the ceremony and Michelle planned to walk down the aisle to At Last by Etta James.
A date was set for February 2016 but Michelle deteriorated badly in the lead up to the wedding and it became clear that she wasn't going to make it. However as she was dying she still talked about the wedding she dreamed of.
In the last 10 days before her death Michelle was in a hospice and slipping in and out of consciousness when a friend came to visit.
Recounting the time, John said: "When her friend got there she had a moment when she knew who her friend was and she started talking about the wedding. Her friend looked at me and I gave a look as if to say 'just go with it'. That moment just kills when I think about it."
Michelle passed away on 22 January 2016 having just turned 30. John is now saving the dress, as well as Michelle's wedding shoes and ring for her daughter, who is now 11.
It wasn't until a year and a half later that John, who owns an events company, decided to share the picture of Michelle in her wedding dress on the Love What Matters Facebook page. The post has since received over 88,000 Facebook reactions.
Since her death John has blogged about his life with Michelle to keep her memory alive but also to help others who have been bereaved.
He said: "She had a really rough life but never showed it. She was always smiling. She taught me not to be a bitter person and I am not a bitter person because of her."