Facebook finds beautiful missing photo for girlfriend of Oakland fire victim
Social media might be your go-to place to argue with your cousins and post silly cat GIFS, but sometimes, it can be really beautiful.
On Dec. 4, Saya Tomioka posted a plea to Facebook to help her find a picture of her kissing her boyfriend, Griffin Maddens, a victim of the Oakland warehouse fire in hopes of a "facebook miracle," and social media delivered.
"Maybe some facebook miracle could happen," the bereaving girlfriend wrote. "This morning I remembered the first time I went to Times Square, June 16 of 2015."
"Griffin and I just finished watching The Book of Mormon on Broadway," she continued, "I remember tears swelling my eyes because the city was so beautiful and amidst all the lights, I got to look at the brightest light of all, my sweetie. I cried, and we kissed. Some random photographer captured this very moment, this very kiss."
"I never got his name," Tomioka revealed of the photographer, "He...simply showed us the single beautiful snap shot."
"I've always longed to find this particular photograph and thank the photographer," she wrote, "Friends, possibly with your help, I can be reunited with this photograph," she continued, asking the post's viewers to please share.
After receiving over 300 shares, the post was sent to New York-based photographer, Arken Avan, who decided to thoroughly search his archive.
He found the picture Tomioka was looking for, and posted the beautiful image to Instagram. Griffin was one of 36 who died in the fire earlier this month.
"For a memory of Griffin Madden," the photographer wrote in the caption.
"I decided to pull out my archive, and wasn't sure if that [photographer] was me, and if i actually have this photograph, cause it was more than year ago and it's more that 200,000 pictures in my street archive," he continued.
"Luckily, I found their beautiful image and was so happy I found it and photographed their beautiful moment," Avan said. "I hope this beautiful moment in a photo will stay forever in your memory Saya, for a memory of you[r] love,."
Once in her possession, Tomioka made the photo her Facebook profile picture, dedicating the caption to a beautiful letter to her departed love. "I've finally found you," she wrote to Griffin, "I sobbed when I saw this photo."
Tomioka continued the tribute, writing the photo helped bring "a glimpse of [Griffin's] light back into my life."
We're so glad this picture could bring her some peace. No, you're crying.
More in lifestyle
The Obamas sent out their final White House Christmas card and Twitter is in love
Devoted pup says heartbreaking final goodbye to dying owner
Girl's quinceañera invitation goes viral, 1 million people RSVP