Sometimes when we lose a loved one, we may not get the chance to say goodbye to them before they die. Unfortunately in the last year this has only increased as a result of both the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures. Many of the traditions that we usually have to acknowledge, celebrate and honour the loss of a loved one like funerals and wakes have been disrupted too. Not having the chance to say goodbye can feel very painful and be difficult to come to terms with. After Jonathan died due to complications from a virus, his wife, Katie, was given what possessions he had with him at the hospital. Among them were his phone. She turned on her husband’s phone and came across a note Jonathan wrote one day before he was intubated.

“I love you guys with all my heart and you’ve given me the best life I could have ever asked for,” he wrote. “I am so lucky it makes me so proud to be your husband and the father to Braedyn and Penny.” Katie shared the heartbreaking note on Facebook. “Katie you are the most beautiful caring nurturing person I’ve ever met… are truly one of a kind…..make sure you live life with happiness and that same passion that made me fall in love with you.”

“Seeing you be the best mom to the kids is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced.” Jonathan, learned that he had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for the c0ronavirus. Although he didn’t feel sick, other than a migraine, no sense of smell, and fatigue, he was able to get a test. “Within 24 hours, he started coughing, and with the coughing fits, he wouldn’t be able to catch his breath in between,” Katie said. “The doctor told him to go to the hospital because he’d probably need nebulizer treatments.” But after a week and no improvement, he needed to be intubated.

“They tried to wake him up on day seven, and he was breathing way, way, way too hard,” she said. “They thought he was having a panic attack, so they FaceTimed me, and he just said, ‘I love you and I’m sorry,’ and then they had to re-intubate him.” Over the course of several weeks, Jonathan’s condition improved, but he also suffered setbacks which Katie shared on Facebook. “I just want to wake up from this nightmare. We miss Jonathan so much, it’s been 24 hellish days since he went into the hospital and 18 days on the ventilator,” Katie wrote. Few days later, Jonathan went into cardiac arrest and died. “The pain we are feeling is indescribable, our everything was stolen from us. My heart is not even broken it’s shattered,” Katie wrote. “My kids and I will live the rest of our lives without Jonathan. And I don’t know how we’re going to do it.”

In addition to leaving a loving note to his wife, Jonathan also wrote to his children. The couple have two children together, Braedyn, 2 and a half, and Penelope, 10 months. “Let Braedyn now he’s my best bud and I’m proud to be his father and for all the amazing things he’s done and continues to do. Let Penelope know she’s a princess and can have whatever she wants in life. I’m so lucky….” As Katie grieves Jonathan’s death, she’s both sad and thankful that he was able to compose such a note to their family. “My kids aren’t going to remember their dad — it’s going to be me making sure they remember their dad and know their dad,” she told BuzzFeed News. “So I have that note to say, ‘Your dad was really sick and fighting for his life, but he wanted you to know how much he loved you.’” A GoFundMe has been set up for the family and more than $775,000 has been raised so far.