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‘This loss will not destroy me.’ Bride poses solo in haunting wedding photos

Nikki Salgot of Michigan set up a solo wedding shoot shortly before what was to be her marriage to Collin Rose in October. Rose was killed in November 2016 in the line of duty.
Nikki Salgot of Michigan set up a solo wedding shoot shortly before what was to be her marriage to Collin Rose in October. Rose was killed in November 2016 in the line of duty. Rachel Smaller Photography

“Today was supposed to be the happiest day of my life, the day I married my forever,” Nikki Salgot wrote Oct. 14 on Facebook.

But her fiancé, Collin Rose, a Wayne State University police officer in Michigan, was shot and killed in November 2016. He had stopped a bicyclist while investigating a string of thefts near the Detroit campus when he was shot in the head, ABC News reported. Rose died the next day.

As their planned wedding day crept closer, Salgot had an idea. She called a former classmate, Rachel Heller of Rachel Smaller Photography, and arranged a solo wedding shoot in the woods, in the dress she had already purchased for her marriage to Rose.

The photos capture Salgot posing somberly with the U.S. flag she was given at Rose’s funeral and his hat, but also images of her smiling and laughing during lighter moments.

“She captured images that still vividly show the pain left behind; images that show I am still able to laugh, smile and be me; images that show this loss has not and will not destroy me; and my favorite, images that show I am still just as fierce as ever and refuse to let this define me,” Salgot wrote on Facebook.

One more long post because she deserves it. A huge thank you is owed to Rachel, of Rachel Smaller Photography. After not...

Posted by Nikki Salgot on Monday, October 16, 2017

It wasn’t until after Heller delivered the finished photos to Salgot that she revealed a secret – she had interrupted preparations for her own impending wedding to organize the photo shoot.

“She was so excited for me,” Heller told Today. “So collected. It was so generous of her to be happy for me. It really put things in perspective.”

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