Dad dies leaving behind a boxful of letters for his baby girl

letters with a bowWhat parent hasn't considered what they would do if they suddenly found out that they were dying? All the things we would miss. All those important moments in life that we wouldn't be present for our children, the moments that they needed us the most. We'd miss seeing them grow up and they would miss having us there to give them advice, support and love and that is the true tragedy of it all. What could you do?

Recently, a 26-year-old husband and father, Mitchell Whisenhunt, lost his battle with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue, which holds together the body's organs, cells and tissue. But before he died, he found a way to bring continual comfort to his wife, Ashley Whisenhunt, 22, and his beloved daughter, Brynleigh, by writing a trove of letters that he designated to be opened on certain dates throughout her life.

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Ashley Whisenhunt dropped out of college and cared for her husband until his death but said she was shocked when she discovered the 30 letters he left for her and their 18-month-old daughter. Mitchell Whisenhunt wrote letters to his little girl to read every year on her birthday until she is 18 and even though he will not be with her in person, she will grow up knowing that this man who she didn't get to spend much time with and won't remember loved her unconditionally.

This story is beautiful. I won't lie, as a writer, I have considered this option myself... just in case. Life is precious and you just really never know when something could happen.

I rode on a plane for the first time a few years ago and when I did, I wrote a letter to my girls and my husband. I felt some trepidation and, just to be safe rather than sorry, I wanted to write them a letter to let them know just how much I loved them all. I know it probably sounds silly but I just couldn't bear the thought of something happening to me and never having told them one last time just how much they meant to me and what a privilege it was to be their wife and mother. 

Image via Corbis

Topics: baby  death  parenting