Jared and Sharry Buhanan-Decker had it all—a great marriage between best friends and a baby boy on the way. But sadly, tragedy struck when Sharry passed away unexpectedly from complications of childbirth after delivering their son, JJ, via c-section. “It was supposed to be the happiest day of my life,” said a devastated Jared in a post on Reddit. Amazingly, that Reddit post led to a great comfort to the new dad and grieving father, as the community of Reddit users—total strangers—rallied around him when he posted his grief and an unusual request for help.
You see, Sharry was a musician, and had left behind several recordings that Jared could see on her computer, but couldn’t figure out how to access. So, he posted this to Reddit to see if anyone could help him recover his wife’s songs.
Jared was INUNDATED with responses, and soon had the recordings of Sharry so that he and JJ could listen and remember their beloved wife and mother.
But Sharry didn’t just leave behind her musical memories, in an eerie twist, she also left behind thoughts about how she wanted to be remembered. A few months before she died, Sharry wrote in her journal and answered the question, “f you were going to die one year from today, what would you do and how would you want to be remembered?” Touched by her response, Jared published his late wife’s words in his blog. (His responses to her thoughts are in bold.)
If you were going to die one year from today, what would you do and how would you want to be remembered? Oh man isn’t this one so incredibly difficult???
This question has become so much more real to me after losing Mark. (Her older brother who passed 3 years ago) I think about this everyday, and I wonder all of the adventure and love that Mark has missed. So, the first thing I would do is treasure my loved ones and tell them how much I care and how sorry I will be to miss spending time with them – to miss meeting their future babies, to miss seeing their successes, to miss eating a piece of pie with them on Thanksgiving Day. So real and present now even though she wrote this a year and a half ago!
My second thought would be to notice the amazing beauty in our daily lives. Powerful message for me.
When Mark got sick, all of my senses were heightened and I can still remember the smooth, slick tile in the hospital hallway, and the gray colored parking lot view from the 8th story window.
Somehow, a realization of death brings an awareness of life. And I would like to soak all of those senses into my skin until I can no longer feel anything, and my cells have turned cold.
And finally, I would like to experience as much of life as I could squeeze into one final year, and one final day. To spend more time writing, and reading, and painting, and learning, and travelling, and singing, and dancing.
Life is a choreographed dance with death.
Wow, what a gift that her husband not only was able to recover the recordings of his wife to share with and comfort their baby son, but also read her words to inspire him as he lives and raises their son without her.
Sharry’s words certainly make me want to take advantage of EVERY moment with my babies! I can’t wait to hug them when they run in the door from school.