Heartbreaking and Heartwarming: Two Tales of Loss Strike a Chord with Readers

12/28/2013 at 05:00 PM EST

Heartbreaking and Heartwarming: Two Tales of Loss Strike a Chord with Readers
Olivia and Ben Nunery (left) and Ned Vizzini
Melanie Pace/Loft3 Photography; Sabra Embury/Splash News Online
Two tragic stories got the attention of PEOPLE.com readers this week – one freshly painful, the other beautiful in its meditation on love and loss.

The suicide of young-adult novelist Ned Vizzini prompted an outpouring of grief from readers, many of whom admired him for having fearlessly tackled the subject of depression in his work.

The best-loved story of the week was heartbreaking, too, but bittersweet – about the father who recreated his wedding photos with his daughter as a tribute to his late wife.

Below are the five stories that sparked the strongest reactions from PEOPLE.com readers this week – happy, sad, laugh out loud, angry and wow. Let us know what you think of what's going on in the news by clicking on the appropriate icon at the bottom of every story.



Sad After struggling with depression for years, popular young-adult author and television writer Ned Vizzini took his own life by jumping off the roof of his parents' home in Brooklyn.

Love Ben Nunery beautifully honored the memory of his wife Ali, who died of lung cancer in 2011, by recreating their incredible wedding photos – with their 3-year-old daughter Olivia standing in for Ali.

Wow Mamma mia! Sofia Vergara struck the most revealing Christmas pose, sporting a thong bikini in a snapshot from her holiday getaway with fiancé Nick Loeb.

Angry In his first public statements since being suspended by A&E for anti-gay remarks, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson vowed not to back down, angering many readers though getting lots of love from others.

LOL The holidays got a whole lot more merry with this hilarious gallery of unfortunate family Christmas portraits.

Check back again next week for another must-read roundup. Until then, see what readers are reacting to every day by clicking here.

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