NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, December 16, 2015, 7:04 PM
A Louisiana bride who lost her 6-year-old child to cancer has “shared her daughter with the world” in pictures of her Sunday ceremony.
Photographer Ashley Frantz told the Daily News she inserted images of her friend Amanda Crowe Free’s late daughter, Azalee, into photos of the wedding in the Baton Rouge area at the mom’s request.
The pictures show Free appearing to kiss and hold hands with a translucent Azalee, whose full name was Azalee Mae Carroll Crowe, at Free’s ceremony in Port Allen.
“Azalee’s memory gets to stay alive, and her mom heels through that,” Frantz said. “It’s soothing to her soul that she gets to share her daughter with the world even though she lost her two years ago.”
The 31-year-old photographer’s initial Facebook post on the Frantz Photography page has led to national and international news stories. Frantz, who lives in Lake Charles in the southern part of the state, once visited the late little girl in the hospital after meeting Free through a mutual friend and praying for her daughter, Frantz said. Azalee died in November 2013 of Neuroblastoma.
The modest Frantz criticized her own Adobe Photoshop editing skills but said she thinks her image speaks to those who have lost loved ones.
“I think it just gives hope that they’re still there even if they’re not,” Frantz said. “What they feel in their hearts — it’s just bringing it to life.”
Free and her new husband Chip released monarch butterflies in honor of Azalee at the ceremony in “a moment in time that stood perfectly still for all in attendance,” Frantz wrote on Facebook Sunday night. She posted an image of one butterfly that rested near Free’s heart before landing on a tree.
“It stayed there and was still sitting so peacefully even as we left,” Frantz wrote. “We all know it was Azalee, just a little whisper from her and God saying ‘congratulations’ and letting everyone know she was nearby to help her mommy cross over into her new path of life … where there is nothing but sunshine ahead!!”
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