Woman Sobs Watching Footage of Lost Love for the First Time in 30 Years

A woman says her mom "sobbed for hours" after seeing footage of her lost love for the first time in 30 years, thanks to new technology.

Olivia Donahower says her mom, Karen, married her college sweetheart, who she called Dale, after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The 21-year-old added her mom didn't have any videos of Dale, and only a few blurry photographs to remember him by.

The photo she shared shows a young man in an Auburn Tigers kit, who Newsweek was able to identify as Dale Tomaino. Records show he died in 1987, aged 22.

With the advancement of new technology, Olivia was able to use an app to sharpen the image of Tomaino dressed in his football kit, as well as animate him.

Olivia, from Rochester, New York, shared the result—and her mom's reaction—to TikTok, where it's since amassed more than three million views.


this is one of my love languages with my mom. sending her edited photos of her late love. #greenscreen #greenscreenvideo #myheritage #remini

♬ record before u listen - penny lane

Olivia captioned the video: "This is one of my love languages with my mom. Sending her edited photos of her late love."

She explained: "When my mom was in college, she married her boyfriend because he had developed cancer and he was going to pass away. This is one of the few pics she has of him before he passed away in the 80s.

"So I used the Remini app to clear up his face. She cried. Then I brought him to life once again. She hasn't seen him like this in 30+ years because there are no videos of him. This was her reaction. She sobbed for hours."

She shared a screenshot of a conversation with her mom, who wrote: "Omg. How did you do that. The little smile at the end."

After the initial video blew up, Olivia shared more conversations with her mom, who claimed they would have recently celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary, although this couldn't be confirmed.

Karen wrote: "Saturday was our anniversary, 3/13/87. He would be loving this. And Dale was worried he wouldn't be remembered."

The touching story has moved other people to tears, as Des wrote: "Now I'm sobbing. The way he said he thought he would never be remembered. Dale I will remember for the rest of my life."

While Lydia.Tik added: "Dale. The name of the person that we will not forget, even though a lot of us didn't know him, we will live for the time he never got."

"'He always worried he wouldn't be remembered' damn it Dale got me crying in the club right now," Kylee admitted.

While Kristin commented: "It's the beginning of the week for me, I cannot be crying this hard already. Dale you are remembered."

Newsweek approached Olivia Donahower for comment.

Man looking at wedding album
Stock image of a man looking at a old wedding photo album. A widow sobbed for hours after seeing footage of her late husband for the first time in 30 years. Getty Images/Basilico Studio Stock