08/27/2013 AT 12:50 PM ET
After his wife of 73 years died in April, Fred Stobaugh was heartbroken. But the Peoria, Ill., widower was still able to speak to her – in song.
Stobaugh, 96, who freely admits he has no musical experience and can’t really sing, honored his wife Lorraine by writing her a love song and sending the handwritten lyrics to a local studio’s singer-songwriter contest.
They loved it so much, they produced it as a single – and made a short documentary about it, which is now going viral. Watch it above.
“Oh sweet Lorraine, I wish we could do all the good times over again,” the bittersweet song begins. “Oh sweet Lorraine, life only goes around once but never again.”
Fred and Lorraine met in Peoria in 1938, dated for two years, got married and had three children and four grandchildren. “She was just the prettiest girl I ever saw. Real timid, like. I just fell in love with her right there,” Stobaugh says in the documentary.
“After she passed away, I was just sitting in the front room one evening by myself, and it just came right to me,” he says of writing the song. “I just kept humming it and singing it … It just fit her.”
“I really, really miss her,” he adds. “It just don’t seem right [that she’s gone]. Like a dream.”
Upon hearing that Green Shoe Studio would produce the song for free, Fred broke down and cried. He wept again when he heard the finished tune.