With only hours left to live, 87-year-old Norbert Schemm had one dying wish, and this was to have one last beer with his wife, son and three grandsons.
This photo captures the tender moment and it turns out it’s not just a meaningful picture for the Schemm family – it also touched the hearts of many others who saw it after it went viral, having been shared more than 300,000 times. It encouraged others to share their own stories about meaningful last moments with dying family members.
My grandfather passed away today.
Last night all he wanted to do was to have one last beer with his sons. pic.twitter.com/6FnCGtG9zW
— Adam Schemm (@AdamSchemm) November 21, 2019
Norbert, from Appleton, Wisconsin, was suffering from Stage IV colon cancer, and doctors told him that he most likely wouldn’t survive the night. With only hours left to live asked his wife to round up the immediate family members so they could be together to share one last drink.
They visited him with a few drinks in hand so they could spend some quality time together reminiscing about the good times and having a laugh. Norbert passed away the following day.
Norbert’s grandson Adam initially wasn’t planning to share the personal photo because of the context, but told the BBC that he chose to post the picture to twitter to help his family deal with the grieving process.
“It’s actually helped us with our grief. It’s comforting to see that my grandparents and their children were all together in his final moments.”
He added, “It seems to have tapped into a sense of community and clearly is a moment lots of people relate to. The comments have been so kind and we’ve seen pictures of people toasting bottles of beer in his honor. I thought people I knew might want to see it and respond but had no idea just how many people it seems to have helped.”
The picture seemed to have struck a chord with many others who have been through a similar situation and the comments left on the twitter post just goes to show how the internet, or the comments section of posts in particular, can be truly positive spaces at times.
To read some of the comments for yourself, you can check out Adam’s original Twitter post.