A British woman devastated by the death of her younger brother had a life-size cutout of the late teen created so that she could take it to a music festival in his honor.
Ashleigh Rogers, 26, says brother Ben, 19, was looking forward to attending the ESCAPE festival in Swansea, Wales, before he was killed in a car crash in May.
Ben had booked a ticket to the Aug. 19 event — and it would have been his first-ever festival.
Following his tragic passing, a distraught Ashleigh was left with Ben’s ticket and came up with an ingenious way to remember her sibling.
The crafty Welshwoman contacted a local business, asking them to craft a cardboard cutout of Ben so that she could take it to the festival.
“I don’t know where the idea came from,” Ashleigh explained to Caters News. “I was going to sell Ben’s ticket, as he was going with his best friend, but I decided I’d go in honor of him and experience it on his behalf, as he never got the chance.”
Ashleigh admitted she was a “little embarrassed” bringing the cutout to the grounds, but she soon realized how much it meant to many other attendees.
“Ben was a very outgoing person; he loved going out and was very chatty,” she stated. “I didn’t realize he had so many friends, but many people came up to me wanting photos. It was like I was famous.”
Ashleigh says she ordered the life-size standee from a company that created the item in less than 24 hours.
“I sent a video to my parents when it first arrived, telling them I had a visitor,” she recalled. “My dad was quite emotional about it, and my mom said it was amazing.”
The cutout is now kept in Ashleigh’s home, where she has started speaking to it as if it was actually her younger brother.
Three months after Ben’s death, the distraught sister said she is still processing her grief and can’t wrap her head around the fact he is longer living.
“I still text him as well and speak to him like he’s here,” she heartbreakingly stated. “I talk to him in the house like he’s with me. It’s just my way of coping.”