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How complete strangers helped this single dad decode a final message from his dead wife.

After his wife died during childbirth, Jared discovered comfort in the unfinished things she left behind.

June 16, 2016, was meant to be the best day of Jared and Sharry Buhanan-Decker's lives. It turned out to be the worst.

On that morning a few months ago, the Utah couple of 12 years drove to the hospital. They were full of anticipation for the arrival of their firstborn child.

It had taken almost three years and an expensive IVF process for them to conceive, and Sharry had excitedly blogged about their plans for parenthood during her pregnancy.


All photos via Jared Buhanan-Decker, used with permission.

As the couple was cuddling and dozing on a hospital bed, waiting for the delivery to begin, things turned horribly wrong.

"I woke up to hear one of the monitors beeping. Doctors and surgeons came out from all over and wheeled Sharry into surgery," Jared said. "I was terrified for the baby, but I didn’t ever consider Sharry’s life was at stake."

Shortly after, doctors gave Jared news he could never have prepared for: Their baby had been delivered by emergency C-section, but Sharry was in cardiac arrest.

30-year-old Sharry had experienced a rare allergic reaction to the baby’s amniotic fluid entering her bloodstream, which caused her vital organs to shut down.

"My whole world came crashing down," Jared said.

In the dark weeks that followed Sharry’s death, Jared was forced to come to terms with his future as a single father and the loss of his best friend.

Sleepless nights weeping at Sharry’s gravestone, reading her journals, and listening to old voicemails became survival mechanisms.

“I wanted to feel her in any way,” he said.

In his search for comfort, Jared came across several audio files on Sharry’s laptop, but without buying expensive software, he had no way of opening them.

He took his dilemma to Reddit and requested help to convert the files, and the response was overwhelming.

"I was hoping for just one or two responses and received dozens. The kindness and compassion of strangers has been amazing," he said.

Reddit users came to the rescue, quickly returning several mp3 files to Jared, each revealing original songs Sharry had composed and recorded herself.

In one of her songs, Sharry sings, "Baby, don’t you worry about me," urging her listener to wipe away their tears and "softly close the door."

"That is a message for me right now in my life," Jared said. "I could never have anticipated the meaning her songs would have."

Since receiving the mp3 files, Jared has kept them on his phone so he can listen to them with baby JJ whenever grief strikes.

"I still have a lot of tough nights, and JJ as a new baby has struggles to stay asleep, so I use those songs to comfort both of us," he said.

"Science tells us babies respond to their mother’s voice because for nine months that’s the main voice they hear, and Sharry was always talking to him and singing to JJ."

But Sharry’s music wasn’t all she left behind. As Jared continued to comb through her computer files and journals, he also found something else left unfinished: a bucket list.

Between items like dancing naked in the rain, traveling to India, and overcoming anxiety, Sharry’s list is full of bold dreams to help other people.

Jared said her bucket list is now a roadmap for him and JJ, compelling them to fulfill Sharry’s dreams and to honor her memory as the years go by.

"It is good for me, to push me outside my comfort zone because she was always the one to do that, and in a way she still will be," he said.

The first goal Jared hopes to fulfill is the creation of a treasure hunt scholarship fund for disadvantaged children.

"It’d be so easy, when tragedy happens, to withdraw and become cynical … but I cannot do that," he said.

"I need to lead my life as a legacy to Sharry. I need to cherish experiences, relationships, and life. I need to be a force for good and light in the world just like she always was and is."

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Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

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A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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