She was meant to walk down the aisle with him waiting at the end, but instead, she had to walk to his grave.
It's a day that most women dream about for their entire life. Sara Baluch, too, expected her wedding day to be one that she would never forget. But the 22-year-old now has the most painful memory attached to it. On Saturday, March 9, Sara was supposed to get married to the love of her life, Mohammad Sharifi. But an unforeseen tragedy struck, and instead, the young woman went to her fiancé's grave the next day, wearing the dress she was supposed to exchange her wedding vows in.
Two weeks prior to the wedding, 24-year-old Mohammad was shot in the Hixson Pike apartment complex's parking lot, where he was in the process of selling his Xbox One gaming system, according to Times Free Press. Sara Baluch was the first to arrive at the hospital after the incident, but for a long time, nobody could tell her what exactly had happened to the man she was going to marry. "And then the nurse came in," said Sara. "She sat down next to me. She held my hand, and she said, 'I'm so sorry. He was shot. He didn't make it.'"
"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,'" she continued to say.
It would have been the most difficult thing for her to take in, knowing that the person she just saw, the person she just spoke to hours before is no longer there. She was then taken to the room where Mohammad was. "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."
Just a few weeks later, their wedding day came by. And Sara was determined in her choice; even though she couldn't walk down to the altar where her to-be-husband would have been standing, she would walk down towards his grave in her wedding dress. But due to thunderstorms, the plan had to be shifted from the 9th of March to the 10th of March.
"We were supposed to be together," she tearfully said. "I'm so sorry, Mohammad. I'm so sorry. So sorry."
There was no doubt in her mind that he was the one for him. In fact, she knew it soon after she agreed to go out with him. "I know this sounds like a movie and that it can't be true," she said, "but that night, I knew he was it. And so did he! It was perfect."
Mohammad wasn't just her fiancé; he was her confidante and greatest source of help. "When you came to him with a problem, it became his problem," she said. " He would sit there and try to tell you how you can fix it. He wouldn't just sit there and be like, 'Oh, I'm sorry.'"
Mohammad was the same with his friends and family as well. Mohssen Sharifi, Mohammad's father would always be filled with joy when he saw his son and his fiancé together. "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."
The father went on to say, "He was my adviser for finances, taxes, organizing. Recently, he was my teacher. [Now], I can't see him and ask him for his advice. 'What do you think, my son, about this?' What am I supposed to do?"
Mohammad was just the kind of person who would take time out to care for his loved ones. His father said, "Until we go to the grave, we will not forget Mohammad. He always tried to please us," Mohssen Sharifi said. "He always asked me, 'Are you happy? Are you OK?'"
Sara had already imagined living the rest of his life by Mohammad's side. "He was so excited to move in," she said. "We were going to get married and he was going to graduate in two months."
She will dearly miss the warmth he brought into everyone's lives. "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 said. "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."
As she continues to grieve, she mentioned that he still appears in her dreams. "But he won't talk to me. I begged him. I made him a promise. I said, 'I promise I'll love you forever if you promise just to come to my dreams so we can make memories together." she said. "But he won't talk to me. He just comes to me and he holds me. That's all he does. 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 OK?'"
In the past, people have seen Sara and Mohammad together and thought their love for each other "was so powerful that it couldn't exist on this earth, that the only way to separate us was through death. Our love had to exist in a different world," she said. "It couldn't exist here. It was too perfect it seemed unnatural."
At the cemetery, as 1 pm came by, Sara left behind Mohammad's grave. "We were so happy," she said as she left behind flowers and walked away with a heavy heart. " I want to be with him. Why do I have to wait?"