It's never easy to say goodbye to a loved one, but the death of a parent is a particularly piercing kind of pain that can be hard to comfort and even harder to get over. Some moms and dads plan for this inevitable tragedy, and to make the loss easier, they leave letters or gifts to the children they're leaving behind. Heartwarming gifts from late parents aren't just touching to read about; they often provide a grieving child a more tangible connection to their parent and offer valuable insights into the life and heart of someone that was once so close.
Out of all the stories about gifts from dead parents, most of them involve the parent leaving notes to the child. In some cases, the notes were given to another family member with specific instructions on when they were to be delivered. In others, the notes arrived in one big box, or, in some cases, just one, powerful letter was left behind. The wisdom and even humor contained in these letters were cherished gifts to the children who ultimately received them, giving them a glimpse of the parent they've been missing and letting them know they are not alone on their journeys.
Some of these notes from parents are endearingly hilarious, while others are simply emotional, but they all come from people who wrote the book on how to be a good parent. Read on for some heartwarming stories of parents who sent their kids gifts after death.
Ben Thomas Wrote A Series Of Letters To His Baby Daughter
In 2012, Ben Thomas was dying of ALS when he decided to leave his baby daughter one final gift: a series of letters sharing his joy and pride and offering her advice on life, love, family, and more.
"Even though you're only 18 months old, whenever you help me with something, I feel like you love me and that you not embarrassed," one of the letters read. "When I eat, my hands get messy because they don't work very well. Lots of times you get into the baby wipes and bring one over and start wiping my hands." Ben also told Emmerson that "happiness is a choice. People can take things from you, or your health can be taken from you, but you can always choose to be happy."
Heather McManamy Wrote A Hilarious Note To Her Family
36-year-old Heather McManamy died of breast cancer in 2015, but she was sure to leave a sendoff that no one in her family would soon forget. Heather, who lived in Wisconsin, left a hilarious – and foul-mouthed – letter to her husband and daughter, Brianna. She also left Brianna a "lifetime of greeting cards."
Heather wrote specific instructions that she wanted the letter posted to Facebook after her death, and her husband obliged. "So…I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is, apparently, I’m dead," the letter began. While she addressed serious topics such as how she wanted Brianna told about her death, she kept much of the letter light.
"If you go to my funeral, please run up a bar tab that would make me proud. Heck, blast 'Keg on My Coffin' and dance on the bar for me (because there had better be a dance party at some point)."
Bailey Sellers Received Flowers From Her Late Father
My dad passed away when I was 16 from cancer and before he died he pre payed flowers so i could receive them every year on my birthday. Well this is my 21st birthday flowers and the last. Miss you so much daddy. �� pic.twitter.com/vSafKyB2uO— Bailey Sellers (@SellersBailey) November 24, 2017
When she was 16 years old, Bailey's father, Michael, died of cancer. On every one of her birthdays prior to Michael's death, he would go out of his way to make the date especially meaningful and memorable for his young daughter. After he passed away, the idea of celebrating her birthday was one that filled Bailey with dread. But her dad had planned ahead and prepaid flowers to be delivered every year on her birthday until she turned 21.
In 2017, Bailey, who lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, reached that milestone... and the last gift from her dad. "This is my last love letter to you until we meet again," her dad wrote. "I do not want you to shed another tear for me my baby girl, for I am in a better place."
Jonathon Crow's Dad Bought Him A Guitar
John Crow of Port Huron, Michigan, died of a heart attack in April of 2017. That summer, his son Jonathon would turn 16. Unbeknownst to anyone, in January, the elder Crow purchased a new Dean Razorback guitar to give to his son on for his birthday in June, but, tragically, John Crow died before the big day.
The music store where he bought the guitar contacted John's daughter Chandler and told her about the birthday gift. The video of Jonathon receiving the guitar has gone viral, and it captures a moment of genuine shock, heartbreaking grief, and deep gratitude.