This Christmas, 16-year-old Alina Angel planned with her mom, Stephanie, a way to help her little sisters remember their dad, Albert.
I find myself missing you most on my way to competitions but I know you’re proud of me and with me at all times, I love you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/x50Z5AkJRk
— alina ? (@_alinaangel) October 28, 2017
According to KPNX, Albert passed away from systemic lupus. Alina and her mom bought three Build-a-Bears— one for 12-year-old Aaralyn, one for seven-year-old Allani and one for their grandmother.
Even though you’re gone we still a team pic.twitter.com/ETS0hI1w0p
— alina ? (@_alinaangel) November 1, 2017
Alina and Stephanie sprayed the bears with Albert’s favorite Burberry cologne. They added a device offered by Build-a-Bear that plays a recording of their dad’s voice singing the Alabama song, “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down.” A family member also made teddy bear-sized shirts using fabric from one of Albert’s shirts that he wore in a favorite family photo.
For those wondering, this is picture of the shirt he was in! pic.twitter.com/b6UofFecTw
— alina ? (@_alinaangel) December 26, 2017
When Aaralyn and Allani were handed the bags containing the bears, they were instructed to take out their presents at the same time and then smell them. Aaralyn seemed to recognize the scent immediately— crying as soon as the smell hit her nose.
Alina posted the emotional video to her Twitter account, which went viral and has accrued over seven million views.
She tweeted this message along with the video:
Our dad passed away earlier this summer so my mom and I decided to surprise my sisters with bears with his favorite cologne and a recording of his voice. It’s not Christmas without you Dad, but we have you in spirit.
Our dad passed away earlier this summer so my mom and I decided to surprise my sisters with bears with his favorite cologne and a recording of his voice. It’s not Christmas without you Dad, but we have you in spirit ❤️ pic.twitter.com/u8ETeWsNuU
— alina ? (@_alinaangel) December 25, 2017
Many people have written supportive messages and appreciation for the video.
This made me cry. I lost my dad in September. I wish i had a recording of his voice.
— ?Jared Davenport? (@jtdavenport83) December 26, 2017
My father passed away 3 years ago, this bear was given to me the following Christmas, made out entirely out of his various shirts, which still smelt of him.
It’s great to be able to keep something like that!
I’m really sorry for your loss x pic.twitter.com/q0QX3Z0Edh
— Chris Parker (@song4DS) December 26, 2017
I lost my dad back in April and just reading the caption made me cry. this is such an amazing gift. I wish I had some way of immortalising his voice too. I hope they keep this very close to their hearts 🙂 ?
— ? annaaaa ? (@annaakey) December 26, 2017
I lost my dad in 2015. Holidays hurt. But each year I take a moment to watch my family and think how proud of us he’d be. He lives on through the family he left behind—and it’s clear your father does too. Thanks for sharing a moment so poignant and beautiful. My heart’s with you.
— Rachel Hurst (@itsracheljoyce) December 26, 2017
Alina told KPNX that she couldn’t believe that her video went viral and that so many people would reach out to her.
“I would have never expected that. Most of my videos get 6 views.”
It seems that although their beloved father would no longer be with them during the holidays, Alina and Stephanie found a way to honor his memory and create a gift that would help Aaralyn and Allani feel his presence.