Don't read this at work because you're about to ugly cry.
While Christmas is a magical time to spend with family and friends, it can also be a challenging one when you've lost a loved one. No pain is ever greater than that of losing a child, and the first Christmas without a son or daughter is an unspeakable agony.
Brittany Garcia's brother, Sean Tanner, passed away in October. This was to be her family's first Christmas without her beloved younger brother. Knowing how hard the holidays were about to be for her mother, Brittany sought out to do something special.
She recorded her mother as she opened her special gift and people around the world have shared in the heart-wrenching reaction.
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❤️💔 pic.twitter.com/KRzXPImhAB— ✨𝓑𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓪𝓷𝔂✨ (@britmgarcia) December 24, 2018
You can see Garcia's mother already emotional as she's unwrapping her gift. She breaks into tears when she realizes what it is - a teddy bear policeman in full uniform. Tanner was a cop and the bear would be perfect tribute to remember a son.
It didn't stop there however.
Encouraged to click the button, Garcia's mom presses on the paw of the bear and unexpectedly hears a recording of her son.
She's clearly blown away and it's almost impossible not to cry at the big reveal.
The video has since been retweeted thousands of times, and over six million people have seen it. Hundreds have taken to Twitter to voice their support and love for the gesture.
I felt this in my bones. Merry christmas! Stay strong ❤️— mamahaze 🌪 (@KingHaazel) December 25, 2018
Tanner passed away in October and while he was a police officer, he was not killed in the line of duty. That in no way takes away from the profound loss felt by his family.
It seems that people can be offended by anything and many people responded to the video saying how "wrong" it was. Some said it was cruel of Garcia to make her mother relive the loss.
As is typical, she responded with intelligence and wisdom.
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— ✨𝓑𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓪𝓷𝔂✨ (@britmgarcia) December 26, 2018
Remembering a loved one hurts when they're gone, but it's so much better than forgetting them. Garcia's gift is so thoughtful and unique and will surely help her mother grieve.
She pointed out something else about the video that should make all of us feel better.
At the end of the video with my mom you can hear my son say “Sean’s in heaven”❤️❤️ I know it’s just something I notice but it’s still so special to me.— ✨𝓑𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓪𝓷𝔂✨ (@britmgarcia) December 26, 2018