A grieving mother was moved to tears after hearing the voice of her deceased police officer son inside a Build-A-Bear on Christmas Day.
Officer Sean Tanner worked for the China Lake Police Department in Ridgecrest, California. He was just 21 years old when he passed away in October, according to The Daily Independent.
This Christmas would be the first of many painful holidays where Tanner’s family would gather together without him.
To honor her brother’s life this Christmas, Brittany Garcia decided to gift her parents a stuffed bear with Tanner’s voice placed inside.
“My little brother died in the beginning of October,” Garcia wrote on Twitter. “For Christmas I got my parents a build a bear in a police uniform (he was a cop) with his 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❤️? pic.twitter.com/KRzXPImhAB
— ✨????????✨ (@britmgarcia) December 24, 2018
The moment Garcia’s mother saw the uniformed stuffed bear, she became emotional.
Garcia prompted her mother to press the bear’s paw, which activated Officer Sean Tanner’s voice.
Garcia’s mom began to sob when she heard her late son’s voice, overcome with grief on a day that was certain to be a tough one to get through.
“Sean’s in heaven,” Garcia’s mother managed to say at the end of the video.
Garcia posted the video on her Twitter feed, never expecting to get such a reaction from over 6 million viewers.
While the vast majority of people understood how a gift like this would be comforting during a time of grief, some people wondered if Garcia’s gift would have made a tough day even worse by bringing everyone’s grief to the surface.
But anyone who has lost somebody close to them knows that the ache of loss is already there, especially during the holidays.
You haven’t forgotten about the loss — it’s already on your mind and in your heart.
Garcia posted on Twitter several more times to clarify that everybody grieves differently, in a very intimate, personal way.
“My family has a need to hear his voice,” Garcia wrote, “it’s not ripping open a wound because our wound hasn’t closed and probably never will.”
She went on to say that her family appreciates the kind words from others.
“The outpouring of love and support is something else, and my family is beyond thankful,” Garcia wrote.
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