There are many different ways to cope with the passing of a loved on. One Arkansas college graduate began texting her father after he passed away. For four years, she shared everything that went on in her life. Then, one day in late October, she received a message back from his number…
Texting Her Deceased Father
Four years ago, 23-year-old Chastity Patterson from Arkansas tragically lost her father, Jason Ligons. Although Ligons wasn’t Patterson’s biological father, he filled the role of her father perfectly. He never missed any school or after school event, and became a role model for her and even her friends. Patterson and her friends would always go to Ligons for fatherly advice for just about anything.
In the years after Ligons passed away, Patterson’s college years, she began texting his number. Every day, Patterson wrote a text message to Ligons, telling him about her day and how much she missed him. She told him how she overcame cancer and how she graduated from college. “Blood could not make him any closer; I’ve cried with him, told him everything, and even became very independent because he took the time to love me and show me what happiness looks like,” Patterson said of the text messages.
The Shocking Response
Patterson understood that she would never receive an answer. However, the texts still gave her comfort and a way to communicate with her beloved father. This past October, on the fourth anniversary of Ligons’ passing, the college graduate decided it was time to let go and stop texting. Patterson wrote how much she missed and loved him, and thought that was that. Until she received a reply.
Shocked, Patterson read the text with shaking hands. It read, “Hi sweetheart, I am not your father, but I have been getting all your messages for the past 4 years. I look forward to your morning messages and nightly updates. My name is Brad and I lost my daughter in a car wreck August 2014 and your messages have kept me alive. When you text me, I know it’s a message from God.”
Bard went on to explain, “I’m sorry you lost someone so close to you, but I have listened to you over the years and I have watched you grow – and go through more than anyone. I have wanted to text you back for years, but I didn’t want to break your heart. You are an extraordinary woman and I wish my daughter would have become the woman you are.” He concluded, “I’m sorry you have to go through this but if it makes it any better, I am very proud of you!”
As you can imagine, it took Patterson hours to get over the shock. She felt overwhelmed with love, gratefulness, and sorrow for the father she lost. She decided to share Brad’s response on Facebook writing, “I text my dad everyday to let him know how my day goes, for the past four years! Today was my sign that everything is okay and I can let him rest!”
The college graduate shared screenshots of her last text to “Ligons,” and Brad’s message back on Facebook. It quickly went viral, earning thousands of shares and nearly 200,000 likes. Afterward, Patterson wrote a follow-up post, sharing her feelings about her personal story going viral. She let everyone know that she is not in touch with Brad, feels grateful for everyone involved, and, of course, still misses Ligons terribly. She concluded: “If you take anything from this, know that everyone will experience pain and everyone will lose someone they love. Regardless if that person is a friend, parent (Nonbiological), animal, child or even a role model. No one can tell you how to cope and no one can tell you how long, but you need to do it.”