Heartbreaking photos of a woman kneeling at her fiance’s grave wearing her wedding dress three weeks after he was shot dead by a man he was selling an Xbox console to.
22-year-old Sara Baluch’s life, and her late fiance, 24-year-old Mohammad Sharifi were set to marry this weekend before the unfortunate incident.
On Sunday, she wore her ivory chiffon wedding dress she was supposed to wear at the altar and headed to the cemetery where the love of her life was laid to rest outside Nashville, Tennessee.
The cloudless day at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens was captured in intimate photographs by Chattanooga’s Times Free Press.
Baluch sobbed through her tulle veil as she knelt in the grass damp from thunderstorms the day before surrounded by loved ones who took turns reciting prayers and reading from the Quran.
‘We were supposed to be together,’ Baluch said as tears streamed down her face.
‘I’m so sorry, Mohammad. I’m so sorry. So sorry.’
As they prepared to leave Baluch’s mother Sona replaced her daughter’s white wedding veil with a black one.
‘We were so happy,’ the 22-year-old said. ‘I want to be with him. Why do I have to wait?’
On February 19, Sharifi was shot and killed in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Hixson where he’d agreed to sell his Xbox One gaming system to D’Marcus White after speaking to him on Facebook Marketplace.
D’Marcus White, 20, has been charged with criminal homicide in Sharifi’s death. He is seen above in his mugshot
Baluch was the first to arrive at the hospital after Sharifi was shot.
When she asked hospital staff for information about what room he was, she was told that her fiance wasn’t in the system.
‘I had the worst feeling,’ she told the Times Free Press in an interview last month.
Minutes later a nurse approached Baluch and told her that Sharifi was dead.
‘She held my hand, and she said: “I’m so sorry. He was shot. He didn’t make it,”‘ Baluch recalled through tears.
‘It was like the world was ripped from underneath me. It felt like I was falling and it wasn’t stopping. I fainted.
‘When I woke up, I was like: “No. This is a dream. We were getting married in two weeks. I just saw him last night. I just saw him.”‘
Nurses escorted Baluch to Sharifi’s room, where he was ‘lying there so peacefully’, she said.
‘It wasn’t fair. I told him: “I’m so sorry I couldn’t protect you.” He protected me every day, and I failed to protect him,’ she said.
Baluch said that in the two weeks since Sharifi’s passing, he’s come to visit her in her dreams.
‘He won’t talk to me. He just comes to me and he holds me. That’s all he does,’ she said.
‘I’m happy. I’m so grateful. That’s the closest thing I’ve been getting to holding him. But I want to ask him: “Are you okay?”‘
Sharifi managed to give celebrate Baluch’s birthday on February 27 because he’d already purchased her presents, including a Rolex he’d promised to get her while they were on vacation in Hawaii.
‘I had no idea he kept his promise,’ she said. ‘He was so excited to give it to me. It was the hardest thing because he got them for me.
‘He’s not here and he’s still surprising me. He’s not here and he’s still giving me the world!’
Baluch said people who knew the couple have told her that they believe her and Sharifi’s love ‘was so powerful that it couldn’t exist on this earth, that the only way to separate us was through death’, according to the Times Free Press.
‘Our love had to exist in a different world,’ she said. ‘It couldn’t exist here. It was too perfect it seemed unnatural.’
Baluch’s father Masoud described the couple as ‘full of joy’.
‘Every time they came to my home, they brought joy everywhere,’ he said. ‘It was happy. I’m just waiting for them to come back.’
Sharifi had been preparing to graduate from University of Tennessee Chattanooga this spring.
Many of his friends made the trip up to Nashville for his funeral on February 22, which the his father, Mohssen Sharifi, said was a testament to the kind of man his son was.
‘Until we go to the grave, we will not forget Mohammad,’ he said.
‘He always tried to please us. He always asked me: “Are you happy? Are you okay?”‘
Baluch echoed her would-be father-in-law’s remarks, saying: ‘All he wanted to do was make people smile. He would say anything just to make people laugh.
‘You don’t find that kind of care in people. People our age are just so selfish now. But him, he was nothing like that.’
She continued: ‘You’d have half a cup, and he would fill that cup for you. Somehow, he would give you the world.
‘Oh my God, he was perfect.’
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