When your child dies, it's the most devastating thing in the world. You want to crawl into a ball and never come out of your room again. Many parents, however, find ways of going on with their lives that honors their lost loved ones. That is one way of dealing with the grief. One positive way of dealing. Honoring can come in many forms. Parents have started educational grants. They loan prom dresses to girls who can't afford one. You name it. The parents of Alyssa O'Neill decided to honor their 18-year-old daughter, who died suddenly of a epileptic seizure, by taking her last wish -- to have a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte -- and spreading that wish around to strangers.
Earlier this month, Alyssa sent her mom a text message asking for a pumpkin spice latte. On the morning her mom was going to pick up the drink, Alyssa suddenly had a seizure and tragically died.
Her parents were naturally heartbroken and devastated -- but also left feeling a void. A void they wanted to fill by doing something for their daughter in some way. Since Alyssa could no longer have her latte, they thought they would instead gift her last wish to people who might enjoy it.
Her father, Jason, told CNN:
We tried to fulfill the one thing that she asked us. If Alyssa couldn't get a pumpkin spice latte, we would get them for other people and try to pass the kindness forward.
So two days after their beloved daughter's funeral, her parents went to a Starbucks in Erie, Pennsylvania, and offered to buy lattes for 40 people. The only thing they asked in return was that Alyssa's initials, AJO, were written with a purple marker on each cup.
The manager of the store was understandably touched -- and he agreed to the gift. In fact, the manager and other employees were so overwhelmed that they decided to kick in another 50 lattes.
Soon, people from all over were photographing the initials AJO and posting it online. Says Jason:
People are saying, "I got AJOed this morning," "Have you AJOed today?"
Aw, how sweet. Definitely one way of making sure their daughter is remembered. Her parents have also started a fund to assist parents of children with epilepsy.
What do you think of this idea? Have you ever creatively honored a lost loved one?
Image via AJOForeverinOurHearts/Facebook