As the song of Andy Williams say, ‘Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year,’ for it’s a season of being together as a family. Unfortunately, for a grieving mother whose son died recently, it’s the most difficult time of the year.
While Sarah Tanner is in the middle of embracing the grief amid her police officer son’s death—where the sadness feels sadder and the loneliness goes deeper, her daughter Brittany Garcia, decided to help bring back some joy on her parents’ faces on Christmas Eve by giving them a precious gift; a custom-made teddy bear dressed as a police officer. The stuffed toy had included a recording of her little brother’s voice.
“My little brother died in the beginning of October, for Christmas I got my parents a build a bear in a police uniform (he was a cop) with his voice,” Brittany wrote on Twitter.
Sean Tanner was just 21 years old when he passed away in October. Sean worked as a volunteer firefighter. He is also an officer for the China Lake Police Department in Ridgecrest, California, but he did not die in the line of duty, according to Brittany.
When her mom opened the present and saw the uniformed stuffed toy—she remembered Sean, and that made her very emotional.
What’s even more poignant was the moment she pressed the button on the bear’s paw and heard the most amazing thing: a recorded message of her son’s voice, “Officer Tanner, about to get no sleep for the first time. I’m feeling good.”
Sean’s voice brought tears to his mother’s eyes.
Brittany captured her mom’s reaction to the gift and posted it later on Twitter. As of Saturday, January 5, the touching video snippet got a reaction from over 6 million viewers and it has been retweeted for more than 73, 000 times.
Brittany later wrote on Twitter that she never expected that the video will go viral, “I am completely overwhelmed by the reaction to the video I posted. I posted a moment that happened during our first Christmas without my little brother. I never expected it to go this viral.”
She even thanked the people who expressed appreciation for her family, “The outpouring of love and support is something else and my family is beyond thankful.”
On the other hand, while the vast majority of people understood the reason behind the gift, some people wondered if hearing the voice of her deceased brother would worsen her mother’s grief.
Brittany explained that everyone grieves differently, “I would just like to comment that everyone grieves differently. My family has a need to hear his voice, it’s not ripping open a wound (like people have said) because our wound hasn’t closed and probably never will.”
“My mom LOVES her gift! To everyone who has reached out with kind words, thinking of us and praying for us, thank you so much,” she added.
On Brittany’s latest tweet, she shared that her favorite part of the touching video is at the end of the video, when her young son says, “Sean’s in heaven.”
So grab some tissues, take a deep breath and get ready for some waterworks because the 36-second video below will be one of the most touching videos you will see in your life.
Video | CBS Philly