Meghan was left heartbroken when she found out her beloved husband, Allen, was killed in the line of duty…
However, she was also left pregnant with the couple’s first child. The two looked forward to the future, until one fateful day when tragedy struck. To commemorate her husband’s death, she decided to stage a memorial photoshoot on Father’s Day. Overwhelmed by support from the community, she wanted to show her new baby that, even though her daddy was gone, she had new protectors now…
Meghan Jacobs lost her husband Allen in tragic circumstances and the fact that she was pregnant with their child must have made it a whole lot worse. But, as her maternity photoshoot shows, she unknowingly had a huge amount of support behind her.
Iraq War Veteran
Allen, a young 28-year-old officer with South Carolina’s Greenville Police Department, was also a veteran of the Iraq War. It was in early 2016 he and his wife Meghan were on their way to adding to their family with a new baby.
A Perfect Family
When they found out they were expecting a baby girl, the couple were already caring for Allen’s two other boys. They were going to become a happy family of five, but little did they know, tragedy was just around the corner.
In The Line Of Duty
In March 2016 the unthinkable happened: Allen was killed in the line of duty and just four months before the birth of his third child. It was to be a baby he would never meet.
Murder, Then Suicide
The young father was shot dead by 17 year old Deontea Perry Mackey, in a residential area in broad daylight. After shooting the policeman dead, Mackey used the same gun to take his own life.
Allen and his colleague were on a normal routine patrol through Greenville when they saw Mackey. They decided to pull the known gang member over for an interview, but he had other ideas and ran away.
Allen pursued the teenager through wooded and residential areas. But just 20 seconds after the chase was reported via police radio, another report came in saying that shots had been heard.
Laid To Rest
Officers tried to resuscitate Allen, but tragically, he later died in hospital. Less than a week after he was shot and killed, Allen was laid to rest at Coleman Memorial Cemetery.
A grief-stricken Meghan was totally overwhelmed by the support she received from the community. A group of local kids even spent a whole weekend selling lemonade to raise money for the family.
Meghan wanted to honor Allen’s memory, so she decided to do something very special. She arranged to have a maternity photoshoot and scheduled it to be on Father’s Day 2016.
The shoot was to be taken by photographer Jessie Ellex, who was Meghan’s best friend for over 15 years and someone who knew Allen as well. It was definitely going to be a very personal and emotional day.
Meghan was photographed in a number of different situations. In some she wears her late husband’s uniform, and in many others, she is seen holding the American flag, the very same one presented to her at Allen’s funeral.
A Heartbreaking Image
In another picture the grieving widow is seen with Allen’s badge tied around her baby bump with a ribbon. The whole image is truly heartbreaking. It’s pretty unbelievable how well she kept it all together.
A Sign Of Support
Meghan was joined in the scene by others, too. In a beautiful show of solidarity a group of Greenville police officers, her husbands colleagues, stood behind her. It was a powerful metaphor and an incredible sign of the support they provide.
“Meghan had the idea to include the policeman in her photos,” Ellex told WTAE Pittsburgh Action News 4. “Since she had to do this without her beloved husband, they are now her protectors.”
Helping Meghan To Heal
“The world lost a police officer, but we lost our dear friend, husband, father, son and brother,” Ellex continued. “I hope that my photographs can help Meghan heal and others who may be going through the same situation.”
Ellex posted some of her photos with a description of the shoot itself, to her Facebook page. As of June 2016, the post had received over 100,000 likes and almost 13,000 comments.
Happiness After Sadness
Although there was tragedy, it’s important to not to forget that there’s new life on the way. Baby Lennox is due in July 2016, and her mom and Jessie have plans for another memorial after she’s born.
“When Lennox is born, we plan to mimic these exact photos with her and the policeman to show she will always be protected,” Jessie explained to WTAE Pittsburgh Action News 4.
Solidarity And Support
It’s totally impossible to imagine the hurt and pain Meghan must have gone through, and must still be going through. But the solidarity and support demonstrated by her late husband’s colleagues must surely offer some comfort to her.
[Featured image credit: J.Ellex Photography @ Facebook]