Boy receives postcard in the mail from his dad who died two years earlier

After Rowan's dad died, he received a special message from him in the mail--a postcard sent more than seven years earlier.

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  • Losing a loved one is always difficult. Savoring memories and remembering them is important and healing.

  • Julie Van Stone and her son, Rowan Torrez, mourn the loss of Rowan's dad, Joseph, but remember him through scrapbooks and stories. Joseph died a couple of years ago from a rare disease.

  • Wanting to give Rowan the best in life, Joseph had joined the Navy and went on to earn two master's degrees. While away at school, he would write Rowan and even send postcards from different states along the way as he drove across the country toward home. Though Rowan only received three - four of the postcards, Joseph had said he sent five - six, but they didn't really think too much about it at the time. Rowan was two years old at the time.

  • But, then, the unexpected happened. Just days before the two-year anniversary of Joseph's death, a postcard arrived in the mail postmarked June 10, 2007. "Hello from Pennsylvania. I love you, and I miss you so much. See you soon, love Daddy."

  • Nearly eight years after it was sent, no one is sure how this happened, but Julie thinks of it as a final goodbye that he was unable to give Rowan when he died. Joseph's last words to Julie before he died were, "Everything is a circle. We will see each other again. All that matters is love."

  • Death can be a difficult topic to discuss with children, but it often becomes necessary when we lose someone close to us. Read "How to teach your kids about death" for some ideas and tips.

  • Remember to allow yourself and others time to heal. Coping with death takes time and understanding. Focusing on good times, holding to your faith and engaging in healthy activities can help as you grieve and begin to heal. Many take comfort in believing in an afterlife and hope for seeing their loved one again. If you do not yet have a belief about what happens after death, read "

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Wendy is a regular contributor for and does media reviews. Website: for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: Twitter: @WendyJessen


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