When your loved one passes, it's natural to want more- one more 'I love you', to hear their voice once more, to imagine what they would have said at your wedding or other life events, or even just want to learn more about them. Here are 17 heartwarming, tearjerking stories from people who received that more.
That’s a Life
“My great-grandfather fought in World War I, and II. He was a general in Korea. In WWI he lost his left leg, then came home, started a business from scratch, married my great-grandmother, started a family in the midst of the Depression, and literally built an entire neighborhood of houses from scratch. He bought his first computer in ’97, and enlisted my dad’s help in moving some letters to text files. Great-granddad died a few years ago, and his computer had been in the back since then.
I only ever met him once, when I was eight, but I jumped at the chance to see what a real man puts on his computer. There were two folders: Lois (my great-grandmother’s name) and Death. Lois was scans of letters that he and his wife had sent back and forth while he was away in the wars. Death was a stack of eulogies he’d written about himself. He wrote another one every year, outlining what he had done with his life and what he had to do left. These went back to 1928. The very last one he had written was to see his great-grandchild walk. That was me.
My great-grandfather was a man” Source.
Wow, He Planned So Far Ahead
“When my grandfather passed away I was asked to go through his computer and save anything valuable. There were heaps of letters and photos dedicated to all his children and grandchildren. I even found a speech he would say at my 21st. I’m only 18.
I actually have a copy folded and in my wallet and read it from time to time, it sure makes me miss him, but it’s worth it” Source.
Checks On A Bucket List
“A few months after my wife passed away suddenly, I finally got around to cleaning out her PC and laptop. I’d barely gotten started when I came across a file that had it’s file associations removed. She did all the financial stuff, so I had to find out if it was something important. Of course my first try was word document, and sure enough it loaded up.
Yeah, it wasn’t financial. Turns out she’d written a list of lifetime goals that she wanted to reach, and it had been updated only weeks before she passed. A list of about 30 things she’d dreamed of doing, and only about 4 or 5 were crossed off.
I didn’t get much done after that.
Off the top of my head, I remember some of the more mundane things on the list. She wanted to buy a house, travel the world, start her own YouTube channel. I remember the most recent update was that she’d crossed off wanting to meet Alton Brown. Which she did at a book signing just a short while before it happened. I remember she made sure to bring her nutmeg with her in case he asked, lol. It brought up a good memory and reminded me of our dreams together Source.”
A Best Friend
“About a year and a half ago my family was going through a rough spot in life and had to live in a motel. I was able to move in with a friend while my dog had to stay with my brother and mother at the hotel until we could find a new place to live. I didn’t take many pictures of my dog but I just got a 3DS (Was a present from my mother because she’s felt bad about the situation) and wanted to try taking some 3D photos with it.
Last night I decided to pick up Animal Crossing again and kept accidentally taking screenshots using the in game camera. Later on I decided to look through them to see if any of them were worth keeping and the first thing that pops up is this picture.
He was my best friend. We had to put him down on Christmas day four months ago. That day and yesterday are the only times I’ve cried in about 5 years” Source.
One Last Movie Night
“My father died a few years ago from colon cancer. Even though I was only 19, my brother was significantly younger when we lost him (he was 7).
My father and brother would watch a movie usually every other night, and a few months ago I finally got around to cleaning up his computer. I looked through his folder where he downloaded movies to, and the last film he downloaded was Spirited Away. And it was the night before he passed away.
Needless to say, we watched it together that night Source.”
A Sweet Dish
“I was on my sister-in-law’s computer the day after she passed away at home from cancer. I was helping her mother figure out which documents were the latest versions since my SIL had planned her whole wake, funeral, etc. in advance while she still could. While looking for what I needed, I found recipes that she had saved so I sent them to myself. I didn’t find anything that I wish I hadn’t. Cooking was something we both loved so it will be nice to prepare those dishes and keep a piece of her alive Source.”
“My mother died going on two years in another few weeks. After her passing, while all of us kids had to go through her things, I found a voice recorder. Since I found it I have not put new batteries in it to see what is on it. Today I did.
It was all mundane talk at her work place. Conversations with my younger brother while she cooked. Listening to her voice messages from her off the wall ex husband. After I burst out crying, and stayed that way for a while. I realized every last little thing that I miss about her.
The top on that list is her spontaneous singing. (I got that from her) and her sarcastic laugh. The profundity of this only impacts me. But it changed me” Source.
He Wanted Them Taken Care Of
“My grandfather passed away recently, and he, my dad and I, were all three very close. He had just left to spend time at his summer home alone and passed of a heart attack. The night he passed away, there was a huge fight because my father and I wanted to mourn but the step-children just wanted to divy up the will. Their mother, my dad’s step-mother had just died a year ago. Basically, they wanted to go through everything to see if any of their mother’s stuff was available.
Anyway, they do some underhanded moves and rush to a nearby state where my grandfather had his summer home. Basically, they were promised the houses while my father and his sister were promised the money and the business (he owned a garage). Before we leave to another state, we decide to check his main house for a will since, well, they’re already looking and being complete a–hats, guess we have to mourn later.
My dad was pretty quiet and rushed, just trying to go through papers and get things over with. I’ll never forget his reaction when he opened a particular envelope. My grandfather wasn’t very trusting of his step-children so he secretly pulled out more than 9 life insurance policies, all of them naming my father the beneficiary. That, plus the fact that two days before he left to the summer home, he went to the tag agency with my father and transferred the deed to his car over to my dad. Everything was completely filled out except my dad’s signature, so my dad just had to collect the car, sign the paper, go to the tag agency, and the car was his.
No one in my family has ever really been well off. No college graduates or anything. Everyone is self-made. My dad worked his way through the navy and other IT programs to eventually be a systems administrator at the local hospital. My grandfather dropped out of high school (later went back and got a full diploma) but owned his own business. We weren’t really expecting anything from his death or estate, we loved him for him, not any money he might’ve had (which wasn’t a lot). But he did everything he could in his last year of life to make sure my dad would be set for as long as possible.
It doesn’t sound like a lot, and I know a lot of these stories are a lot more touching, but I’m welling up just typing this. Due to circumstances and me having to move shortly after, I haven’t really gotten over his passing and it’s been almost 2 years” Source.
The Most Beautiful Love Story
“Not a personal computer, but my local library has a set of computers in there and people can get usernames/passwords and use the virtual desktops (given they have a library card). This old guy would use the computer a lot. I wasn’t nosy so I never looked in depth, but he was using a word processor so I assumed he was typing letters or something similar. Anyway, I volunteered there over the summer, and I had to close out inactive library cards, or ones that hadn’t paid dues. Basically this meant I was deleting accounts by logging on to their virtual desktops and cleaning them out.
The old man showed up in the line up. Turns out he died a few months before. I opened up his desktop and went to documents, because curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see if he had anything some relatives wanted or something.
There was his life, encompassed in two folders. Folder one: Novel. He was writing a memoir of his tales in WWII. Folder Two: Missy. Missy, from what I could collect, was his wife. In it were dozens, if not over a hundred documents of love poems and letters to her. I backed them up on a USB and intended to return them to his wife. I’m sure she would want love letters.
As it were, the wife was dead and he was buried next to her in the cemetery. I was sad, because these were letters to his long-dead wife (she had died in 2004). I gave the files to his son, who read them out loud at the old man’s annual memorial mass as a eulogy and testimony to the love of his wife” Source.
The Father She Never Knew
“3 years ago on March 31st, I had to bury my daughter that had anencephaly. A couple of months later, this prompted me to resume search for my father, who my mother had divorced and lost contact with 19 yrs ago. I had searched death indexes, posted things to family research websites, and nothing. I finally got the idea to post something to craigslist where his entire family lived. Lo and behold, a cousin I didn’t know I had responded, told me my dad had died April 1st that same year, the day after my daughter.
Where he was a narcotic addicted drinker while with my mother, he later cleaned up his life, found God, got a good job, made friends that did nothing but sing his praises, actually paid for his plot and headstone. With his email address, I found several posts to a website that let’s you leave messages for people by name from him, the year before, looking for us, telling us time was running out, etc. Guess he knew the Hep C was catching up to him” Source.
One More ‘I Love You’
“I was cleaning out my mom’s house when I came upon her computer. On it was a voice recording that she must have made for fun or something. Maybe she was just testing it out. The recording was of her saying how much she loved her grand kids. It was very touching” Source.
Flash of Remembrance
‘My dad died from cancer in 2009 on my sisters birthday. I had forgotten how he sounded, looked, acted, and everything after awhile. Then I found his cellphone and went going through the messages. I found a Multimedia message.
It was sent right before he died a few days before. It was a audio clip of him telling my mom he loved her and calling her by her pet name. I burst into tears. I had forgotten how he had sounded and it really sent a shock to my system. I had forgotten so much about him in such a short amount of time. It was especially poignant because he had throat cancer and near the end couldn’t talk’ Source.
Every Computer Login
“My brother and I were always very, very close. It’s a cliché to say that we were best friends, but we really were.
He died unexpectedly when I was 19 and he was 21. His friends and my parents all wanted to search his computer for any kind of signs of anything – depression, subtance abuse, relationship problems, school and work problems, etc.
All of his stuff was password-protected, and nobody knew his password. I didn’t want to give up my theory about what it might be (I guessed maybe his password was the birthday of his beloved cat), because I felt a little bit like I was betraying him.
My family and friends kept trying anyway, and they eventually got it. Much to my great surprise, my brother used the same password for everything, and that password was my first name. In all of the years since, I’ve made my brother’s birthdate my password for everything. And I will until the day I die.
It doesn’t reveal anything scandalous. It reveals that he really loved me and thought about me and that I was a major element in his life, just as he was in mine. That gives me peace and makes me sad at the same time. He’d be 32 now, and would probably have a family of his own. It’s a weird thing to think about” Source.
Preserved in a Video Game
“This is my brother with the best smile. He was very outgoing and always willing to befriend or talk to anyone. This is him working at a Dutch Bros. but he later moved on to be a mechanic and did a great job at it.
My Brother drowned in a river in the city that we lived in. This happened less than a month after he was married to a beautiful and wonderful woman. It was a tragic accident where he was hanging onto a rope and using a wake board to ride the waves that were created by the river under a tree. He had used another rope that comes with the board to attach it to his ankle to prevent him from loosing it if he was washed downstream. Unfortunately that rope caused the accident and got caught in the roots of the tree under the water holding him down. His friends that were with him couldn’t find him until it was too late as they thought he had been washed downstream further. If you ever take up river wake boarding, please do not tie the board to your person, have a spotter catch the board down stream.
Taylor and my other siblings (there are 4 of us) grew up playing games together. Started on the NES, we would scour yard sales for games since only would get a game from our parents during Christmas, if we were lucky for one of our birthdays. My brother got a Sega Genesis for his birthday when it came out and we would always trade off and on being Sonic or Tales. We moved up through the ranks of the consoles until I finally moved on to PC and he stuck with his 360 and just played the heck out of Halo and Skyrim. Pretty soon Skyrim was about all that he played. I tried to convince him that PC was better so that we could play together again but he never seemed to move on to that.
The only time I ever play a game on a console anymore is to use his Xbox to sign into his account, boot up Skyrim, and just sit there looking at the last thing he saw in the game. I never move his character, save, or do anything since it wouldn’t be his character anymore. He is frozen in time just like my young brother was. He passed in 2013. I still visit him in Skyrim to see the last thing he saw there.
Taylor was growing up to be a great man. One of the things I feel a loss about most is that he never was able to know the joy of being a father. He did however get to see my daughter for almost the first year of her life and was an amazing uncle to her. I am thankful for who he was and the memory he leaves behind” Source.
Love Story Told in Letters
“My Nana died from cancer back in 2012 after a long and difficult few years of pain and suffering. My Grandpa was a fit and strong man who also suffered from dementia, he said that when my Nana died, he’d be going too. When she passed away, only a day later he passed out from a stroke and soon died in hospital. The doctors said there was no real reason why Grandpa had a stroke and instead linked it with heartbreak and loneliness.
Fast forward a few months later and my family go down to Devon to visit their house one final time. Whilst there we cleared out everything and came across the love letters that were secretly kept in a drawer.
My Grandpa was a lot older than my Nana and they fell in love after my Grandpa (a builder back in his young days) was doing a building project on my Nana’s family house. Nana would spy on Grandpa and they soon met and fell in love. They told nobody but sent one another love letters, Grandpa’s were about how he couldn’t love her as he was too old and Nana’s were about love coming first.
Overall, there were around 50 or so letters roughly and they were all dated. Honestly the most heartwarming things I have ever read, we took them all home and scanned every single one of them in. They brought me to tears multiple times.
It was also due to these love letters that when I fell in love with a girl in my school, we used to write love letters to one another constantly. Even though it never worked out, we both still talk to one another and have both kept the letters because they’re so precious to us.
Thank you, Nana and Grandpa” Source.
Letters for Tomorrow
“My mom died 6 years ago, when I was 21. I just found her old laptop last week and was looking for family photos when I found a Word document called “A Letter To My Grandchildren”. She knew she didn’t have much time left so she started writing what she wanted any future kids of mine, her only child, to know about her and myself as a kid. It was supposed to describe my life up until that point, but it trailed off with stories about me as an elementary schooler. I don’t know if it’s because she never got the chance to finish it, or because she couldn’t think of anything more to write since my life after age 12 has pretty much been one long, slow descent into depression and uselessness.
I loved her more than anything else in the world” Source.
His Brother’s Works
“Turns out my brother was writing a novel and a ton of poetry. I always wonder if we should do something with it. I’m not sure how completed it all is, but my cousin who went through it said it was quite a bit of material.
There are also piles and piles of notebooks and journals, again I’m assuming are his poetry and short story collections (he told me that’s what he was writing in the notebooks). Those would take a while to go through since it is all hand written.
At any rate, he was a bit of a recluse for about 8 years prior to his death. He also had some severe substance abuse problems and an anxiety disorder, so the content/background for his work might be interesting if it gives insight on what was going on during that time” Source.