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‘One last beer with his sons’: Man’s touching deathbed photo goes viral

Norbert Schemm, centre, shares a beer with his wife Joanne and sons Tom, Bob and John in Appleton, Wisc., on Nov. 20, 2019.
Norbert Schemm, centre, shares a beer with his wife Joanne and sons Tom, Bob and John in Appleton, Wisc., on Nov. 20, 2019. Adam Schemm/Twitter

If death is the next journey after life, why not grab a beer for the road?

Norbert Schemm did exactly that earlier this week, when the 87-year-old invited his sons for a round of beers around his deathbed in Appleton, Wisc.

A heartwarming photo of Dad and his children has since gone viral after his grandson posted the image on Twitter Nov. 20. The photo shows Norbert in a hospital bed with a Bud Light in his hand. His wife, Joanne, and their children Bob, Tom and John are also in the picture. Norbert’s three sons are all holding beers.

“My grandfather passed away today,” Adam Schemm wrote in the tweet. “Last night all he wanted to do was to have one last beer with his sons.”

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Norbert Schemm died of Stage 4 colon cancer, his grandson Adam told TODAY.

“That moment meant so much to my grandfather,” Adam said of his viral tweet. “You can tell they all know what’s going to happen, and they just want to enjoy being together. They all have this look of closure.”

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The touching moment resonated with many users online. The photo received more than 320,000 likes and 30,000 retweets within its first week online. It also prompted many others to share photos of themselves having a beer with a dying loved one.

“Did the same thing with my Dad in May,” wrote user Robert Dorsch. “Cold beer and a Yankee game. My condolences.”

“I don’t know you … but I felt this,” user Ben Riggs tweeted. “Days before my grandpa passed he let my dad and I know he wanted a cigar and a beer. We made it happen.”

User @brussproutsrock added: “My grandmother did the same thing with shots of Bailey’s.”

Adam Schemm said the response has been overwhelming.

“It’s actually helped us with our grief,” he told BBC News. “It’s comforting to see that my grandparents and their children were all together in his final moments.”

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