Internet strangers help first-time father keep late wife’s memory alive

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ST. GEORGE — It was supposed to be the best day of their lives.

Utah residents Jared and Sharry Buhanan-Decker were getting ready to have their first baby after nine years of marriage but after an emergency caesarean section in June, Sharry passed away at the hospital.

The new father was left to take care of baby JJ on his own.

“It didn't feel like home without Sharry. My home has always been wherever Sharry was, and she wasn't there,” Buhanan-Decker said.

Buhanan-Decker said it took months for his new reality to set in. For the sake of his new son, he tried to keep his wife’s memory alive.

“Anything that has her voice whether it's music, recordings or writing in a journal, I just desperately searched after,” Buhanan-Decker said. "It helps me and JJ connect with her."

Which is why when he came across old files of his wife singing on her computer, he knew it was a gift from above. The only problem: he couldn't play them.

"I tried opening them and I did Google searches ‘how to open the files’ and none of that worked," Buhanan-Decker said.

So he got the idea of posting his issue on Reddit, a website where internet strangers connect and sometimes even solve problems. The response to his post was more than he expected.

"I was just blown away by how quick people were to respond. I was hoping, you know, one or two people would but, you know, hundreds of comments and well wishes," Buhanan-Decker said.

On top of that, he said dozens of strangers sent him the fixed files. The clip is now on repeat in the Buhanan-Decker household, a way to keep Sharry’s voice around. It was only possible because of strangers online who took the time to click reply.


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Ashley Moser


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