A man in China has married his partner's corpse during her funeral to show his love for her after she lost her battle with breast cancer.
The heart-broken groom, 35-year-old Xu Shinan, hoped that the wedding ceremony could realise his late fiancée's dream of being a bride.
Xu's deceased partner of 12 years, Yang Liu, was dressed in a white bridal gown and surrounded by 169 bouquets pink roses when Xu read his wedding vows to her, according to a local report.
The special ceremony took place on Saturday morning in the funeral parlour of Dalian in eastern China.
It was witnessed by the families and friends of the couple.
'Wife, please don't worry! For me, the rest of my life will be in pain, but I will not give up,' Xu said.
Yang died on October 14 at the age of 34 after battling with cancer for five and a half years.
Xu said he had stayed by the side of Yang's body 24 hours a day for seven days since her death, which is folklore in China to pay respect to the departed.
'My wife used to say that nobody was allowed to cry should she die. I was holding back my tears on the day, but when [her body] was sent for cremation, I couldn't fight it anymore,' Xu said.
The couple's story was featured in a recent report by Dalian Evening News.
According to the newspaper, Xu and Yang were university classmates.
They got to know each other by having long chats through the internet and fell in love in August, 2007.
The couple registered their marriage in August, 2013, and started to prepare for their wedding.
But their life was turned upside down three months later when Yang began to experience pain in her chest.
The bride-to-be, 28 years old at the time, was diagnosed with breast cancer the following March.
Yang went through surgery and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, but she never cried and was always smiling, recalled Xu.
She documented her treatment through her account on Twitter-like Weibo, hoping to inspire other cancer patients.
In 2017, Yang's condition improved and the couple started to save money for a flat and prepare for their wedding again.
Unfortunately, her cancer made a comeback a year later - before they could hold their nuptials.
Xu took Yang to visit hospitals around the country in a bid to find better treatment.
'We went across the nation, seeking medical advice while travelling. It was a happy year after all,' Xu said.
Yang's health deteriorated in May this year and had to be hospitalised in Dalian.
Xu said she suffered from a series of complications and became bed-bound in July after sustaining serious bone fractures caused by sneezing.
She was knocked into a coma on October 6 and pronounced dead a week later.
'She couldn't even recognise me in the end and we didn't bid farewell,' the devastated man said.
Xu said after Yang died, he discovered from her online shopping cart that she had been choosing wedding gowns before she was hospitalised.
'I promised to buy her the most beautiful wedding gown,' said Xu who went to a bridal store a day after her death to organise the wedding.
The store's owner was said to be so moved by Xu's story he told him to choose whichever dress he wanted for a token 1 yuan (11p).
Standing in front of his and Yang's family and friends, an emotional Xu said during the wedding-cum-funeral ceremony: 'Although today's wedding is late, it has realised Yang Liu's dream.'
He added: 'All that I can do is to fulfil your wish and letting you wear a wedding dress fulfils my wish.'
The groom broke down in tears after the speech.
Xu and Yang's story have moved thousands of people on China's Twitter-like Weibo, who praised the groom's dedication.
One web user known as 'Chu-Twinkle-Chu' said: 'There should be such a devoted and affectionate man in the world.'
Another commentator known as 'Juanzi 03584' wrote: 'This is true love.'
A third reader 'LCJ' shared: 'Hope you two could meet in next life.'