Losing a loved one is not easy to get over with. We will have ups and downs, and certain things would remind us of them, bringing us back to the pain and grief that we felt when they passed away. Recently, a dad’s emotional post about the letter for his son that he lost three years ago has touched the hearts of many readers from all over the world.
Greg Hughes’s son, Riley, was only 32 days old when he died from a whooping cough, a very contagious disease three years ago. During his interview with Inside Edition, he shared that when his son was diagnosed by the illness, he was comforted at some point because he thought that now that they knew what’s making him sick, his condition would be treated and he would get better. What he didn’t know was the gravity of the diagnoses and how serious Riley’s condition was.
Their hopes and dreams for their son all came tumbling down. They would never be able to what he would be like, what his favorite food would have been, or to whom he would fall in love with. Riley only had 32 days to live and then he was instantly taken away from his loving family. Grief was eating him up alive. He struggled with it and he realized that as a man, communicating how you feel does not usually happen easily. He said, “So I felt like putting myself out there I might encourage other dads to speak up and speak openly about what they were experiencing.”
Hughes has a blog called ‘Dad Minus One’ and this is where he shares his grief when he lost his son. He is also encouraging others to do the same. He said that while he was going through his box of memories he found one of the letters that he wrote, the one that he read during his son’s funeral. He shared it on his Facebook post and it definitely caught the attention of thousands of people. He decided to share this heartbreaking note to the world.
“It’s probably the last piece I have the still physically connects me to him, but even though he’s been gone all this time I wanted to acknowledge that he’s still such an important part of my work and part of my family. I think about him every day.”
He shared that Riley was a beautiful, blue-eyed baby boy who reinstated the balance of power in their family that is distinctly female-dominated. He wrote, “I felt empowered. Little did I know that I was far from the only one smitten with you.” His sister would protect him and his mom doted on him. He was a very content baby.
“Life was perfect. Our family of four was complete… And then…. you were gone…”
He continued to explain the struggles that he faced and he was finally able to understand that his son had been given to him, for a very important reason. Riley changed their world in such a very short period of time and he made an incredible change in their lives.
“Until I see you again, I love you, Riley John.”
Reading the genuine rawness of emotions that Greg felt would somehow help other grieving parents realize that it is okay to voice out your feelings. Grieve openly and fully when a loved one is taken away from you.