When presented with the devastating loss of a loved one, we are often surprised by the things we miss most dearly. It could be a person’s voice, the comfort of their embrace or the way they snored at night. Sometimes, it’s the sound of their laughter.
Knowing this, Paola Lopez and her siblings were determined to present their grieving mother with the perfect birthday surprise. Thankfully, they filmed the whole thing, allowing many others to share in their special moment.
Danira Quijada’s family celebrated her birthday after the passing of her beloved husband. According to the resulting video’s Rumble description, Quijada had lost her husband to cancer and was enduring the grieving process.
At the birthday celebration, Lopez and her siblings presented their mother with a Build-A-Bear box.
Upon opening it, Quijada discovered that the box contained a teddy bear dressed in a cowboy hat and flannel shirt. At first, she didn’t seem to understand the meaning behind the gift. Her children were quick to help her out.
“Squeeze its hand,” said one of the children in the video Lopez posted to Twitter. When she complied, Quijada immediately recognized the recorded laugh that played.
Overcome with emotion, Quijada broke down in tears and rested her head on the table as her children comforted her. The video demonstrates how much her children love and support her through her grief.
Shortly after the event, Lopez took to Instagram to explain how her mother’s strength and determination inspires her daily.
“Happy birthday to the strongest woman I’ve ever met. . . this world needs more people like you!” Lopez wrote, praising her mother’s endurance and hard work in the face of adversity and loss.
The video went viral on social media soon after Lopez posted it to her Twitter account. The original tweet is not publicly available to view, but the impact the video had on those who viewed it remains.
Many people who saw the video were touched by the children’s meaningful gesture. Responses to the video cited the importance of holding tight to family and treasuring the present moment.
“Family is all we got people. Appreciate them, love them, care for them while you still can because you will miss them,” @Manny_Jewels wrote in response to Lopez’s original tweet.
Family is all we got people. Appreciate them, love them, care for them while you still can because you will miss them.
— Manny Fresh (@Manny_Jewels) August 2, 2017
Using a customizable Build-A-Bear has proven a beautiful way to honor life in many other similar circumstances. Nurses have even started to use Build-A-Bear stuffed animals with recordings of former patients’ heartbeats to bring grieving families some comfort in an otherwise dark time.
Nothing can ever replace a loved one’s presence. However, Lopez and her siblings knew that this birthday gift would provide Quijada a lasting memory of the many happy moments by her husband’s side.
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