youtube.com/USA TODAY & facebook.com/GoodMorningAmerica
Source: youtube.com/USA TODAY & facebook.com/GoodMorningAmerica

Boy Unexpectedly Receives a Postcard from Dad Two Years after His Death

Brittany Chalmers
Feb 04, 2022
10:20 A.M.
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When his father passed away, one young boy never expected to hear from him again. However, two years after his death, something special happened. 

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A postcard was inexplicably delayed for eight years, but for Rowan Torrez, the letter came right on time. The seven-year-old lost his father, Joseph Torrez, to a neurological disorder known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The incurable sickness prevented Joseph from seeing his son grow up and devastated his family. Rowan's mother, Julie Van Stone, revealed how much the postcard meant. 

A post card that arrived years after the sender passed away [left] Joseph Torrez and his son, Rowan [right] | Photo: youtube.com/USA TODAY & facebook.com/GoodMorningAmerica

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THE UNEXPECTED POSTCARD 

It gave her son a final memory by which he could remember his father. The postcard unexpectedly arrived in 2013, a few days before the second anniversary of Joseph's death.  

In the letter, the father wrote

“Hello from Pennsylvania. I love you and I miss you so much. See you soon. Love, Daddy.”

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THE SPECIAL KEEPSAKE 

Van Stone was stunned by the timing of the postcard and by the content. She shared that her son was "quietly pleased" after reading the letter and felt he got a final goodbye from his dad.

Van Stone added

“That was a new word for him: keepsake. He keeps his dad’s Navy hat in a hutch above his desk and now he put the postcard inside the hat.”

Julie Van Stone and her son look at photos of his deceased father | Photo: youtube.com/USA TODAY

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A GREAT FATHER 

The father and son had a close-knit bond despite living apart. Joseph left his family in Colorado to pursue two master's degrees to provide a better future for them. Per Van Stone, he always kept in touch and was a great father. 

Van Stone recalled her husband asking about postcards. She remembered that they received three or four, but Joseph insisted he had sent more. Finally, the lost mail showed up and gave the family something to hold onto. 

Rowan Torrez visits his father's grave | Photo: youtube.com/USA TODAY

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GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THEM

Rowan and his mother believe the letter was Joseph's way of getting in touch with them. Shortly before his death, he told them that everything in life was a circle.

He also said: "We're a family. We're going to be together again." In light of the postcard and these words, Van Stone said that the "coincidence" meant a lot to them.   

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MORE LETTERS FOR GRIEVING FAMILY

Families often long for one more hug or conversation with a loved one who passed away. Only a lucky few are granted this desire via videos or postcards, much like Rowan. In 2016, another grieving family found comfort unexpectedly.

Cindy Mathis received a stack of letters from her 16-year-old daughter as a birthday present. A few months later, these letters would mean everything to her. 

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THE WORDS PROVIDED SOLACE 

The Georgian mother lost her daughter, Macy, in a car accident, and when she rediscovered the stack of letters (some still unopened), it was as if her child had sent her a message. The letters were exactly what the grieving mother needed. 

"When You Can't Sleep," "Open When You Miss Me," and "When You Feel Lonely" were just a few of the letter titles she had to cherish and read when the loss felt overwhelming. 

The words written in the letters made a world of difference to Mathis. Similarly, little Rowan was grateful for his postcard that would always remind him that his father loved him. While the words could never replace their loved ones, they did bring some solace. 

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