Jessica Padgett met the love of her life Kendall Murphy in college, and thought she had found the “the sweetest, most loving, funniest man” she’d ever met. The two students from Loogootee, Indiana, started dating in July 2013, and their future together seemed bright.
“He was my world and we both couldn’t wait to begin our lives together,” Jessica told Love What Matters.
They eventually decided to tie the knot in September 2018. Unfortunately—as often happens in life—things didn’t work out as planned.
One evening last November, Jessica returned home after visiting Kendall, and she texted him just to let him know that she had made it home safely—something they always do. She received a text back from him, to which she responded 10 minutes later. Jessica never heard from Kendall ever again.
It turned out that Kendall, who was a volunteer firefighter, had gotten a call about a drunk driver that had crashed his vehicle about a mile from his house that night. He went to the scene and was preparing his gear when, tragically, he was struck and killed instantly by a second alleged drunk driver who was also a volunteer firefighter responding to the call.
Upon losing her fiancé, Jessica was devastated.
“Kendall was the absolute love of my life, my soulmate, my best friend,” she told Love What Matters. “On September 29th, 2018, what was supposed to be our wedding day, I wanted to do something special.
“I decided to get pictures taken in my wedding dress that I was going to wear that day. It was a very emotional day, but with the support from all my family and friends, it made my day that much more special and comforting.”
Murphy’s mother asked photographer Mandi Knepp from Loving Life Photography to do a photoshoot for Jessica in order to help heal some of the anguish she was feeling.
The photoshoot was an “emotional rollercoaster” for Jessica. Accompanied with the bridal party, friends, and family for support, Jessica went to Glendale State Park in Indiana, where the couple had had their engagement photoshoot done, before visiting Murphy’s gravestone at Providence Mennonite Church in Montgomery.
“It was very emotional, I had to break for a second because I was crying so much from that,” Jessica said.
“Having all my loving family and friends there to support and comfort me at this tragic time of my life means more than they will ever know. It was the worst day of my life, but they made my day very special,” she told Love What Matters.
Knepp shared some of the photos on her blog page—some of which included Murphy Photoshopped into the background—along with her caption, “It’s hard when you miss someone. But, you know, if you miss them you were BLESSED. It means you had someone special in your life, someone worth missing.”
We want to wish Jessica comfort in her grief and remind her that, as hard as it may seem, every cloud has its silver lining.
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