A tear-jerker of a Humans of New York post has gone viral, sharing the story of a dying mother’s last words of wisdom.
She walked gracefully toward death
When doctors checked on Karen, they “found nothing but cancer,” begins a post from the highly popular social media account Humans of New York. “But even then she didn’t give up.”
Karen was dying of cancer, but she maintained her spirits and walked “beautifully toward death.”
“I never once saw her depressed,” explains her daughter, Kailey, who was in high school when her mother died. “There were sad moments, but even those were peaceful. And sometimes she’d laugh so hard it would physically hurt.”
“Every day she told me I was beautiful,” Kailey continued. “She’d said it before, but not like this. It was so intentional.”
Videos for every milestone
Karen regretted not being able to see her children’s biggest milestones, so, she did something extraordinary.
“She recorded videos for the big moments in our lives: graduation, our 21st birthday, our wedding, our first child,” Kailey explains. “Over the years those videos became so precious to me.”
The videos are just a few minutes each and start with what the milestone is and how she regrets not being there. Then, she’ll give personalized advice.
“She’ll say: ‘I know you struggle with X, Y, and Z, so always remember this.’”
One final video
After getting married two years ago, Kailey knew just one video remained. “And it’s always given me comfort– knowing it was there,” Kailey said. “So it was bittersweet when my daughter was born on June 27th.”
After the birth of their first child, Kailey and her husband watched Karen’s final video together, and it was harder to watch than expected.
“She was sicker than the other videos,” Kailed said. “She spoke really slowly. She talked about how I’d always loved babies, even as a child. And she said that she wished she could be there to cuddle my baby.”
Karen talked about Kailey’s childhood, her struggles and her bright spots. Then, “she ended by saying: ‘Love and encourage your babies. They will grow up quickly. So hug them. And pray for them.’ And that was it.”
For the last time, Karen told her daughter that she loved her and said one final goodbye. “For years I’d been dreading that moment,” Kailey says. “But it felt strangely peaceful. Like I was ready. Ready to take up this role.”
Karen passed the torch to Kailey, who now has the responsibility to share love — and wisdom — with her own daughter.
“It’s my turn to have a daughter now. To love her. And to be purposeful with her, just like my mom was purposeful with me.”
Tell your loved ones how much you care
Life doesn’t always work out as we planned. We lose moments and people we wish we could have back. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of every second and tell the people that we love how much we appreciate and cherish them. You never know how many more times you’ll be able to tell them you love them.
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