Despite tragic loss, fiance’s memory lives on through magic of photos

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WAGONER, Okla. - A bride-to-be in Fairview is grieving the death of her fiance who was killed in a car crash just a few months before their wedding day.

Now, she is sharing her unique memorial of their love with the world.

When 22-year-old Hannah Darr talks about her life and love with Layne Meriwether, she talks about it with the excited happiness of a young love.

"He was just very radiant and he made you feel included and good about yourself," she said.

They knew each other since the first grade, but it wasn't until she was a freshman in high school that he asked her out at Camp Tulakogee in Wagoner.

"I thought he was super cute but he was two years older than me," Darr said. "I knew my parents would not go for that."

But he persisted and quickly won over her parents and her heart.

After that, the two did everything together. She called him her partner in adventure.

"From early on you could tell that we just loved being together, we were just perfect together," Darr said.

Last year, the inevitable happened when he took her to their favorite fishing spot on her family's land, and he proposed.

"I'll never forget the look on his face," she said. "You could tell he thought he had something really special and he was really excited.

But in February, disaster.

Hannah learned Layne was killed in a car accident on his way home from Oklahoma City.

"I just remember thinking, how am I going to live without by best friend?" she said.

Afterward, Darr started doing her best to find ways to memorialize him. She started a scholarship in his name with the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association.

Then, photographer and family friend Holly Gannett gave her something she didn't think she'd have: photos in her wedding dress with Layne standing by her side.

"I completely broke down," Darr said. "It captured our love and he was always there to support me and build me up."

A reminder of the love and dream they shared.

"My biggest fear is I'm going to forget memories and things like that," she said. "But I think images are a big way to remember someone and remember those memories."

Their wedding was scheduled for this Saturday, June 17.

Darr said she wants to share her story so that it can help others going through grief themselves.

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