Goodbyes are difficult but this 94-year-old flew 5 hours to another part of the country to see her elderly sister for one last time.
It's never easy saying goodbye to your loved ones, especially when you are almost at the end of your lifetime. It is a heartbreaking situation but we always have to make our peace with the cycle of life. Stephanie Atkinson Shively—who goes by @stephanieatkinson on TikTok—shared the story of her 94-year-old grandma and her 90-year-old sister has moved the audience to tears. The video which has amassed over 13 million views so far, shows the two elderly women possibly meeting each other for one last time.
Barbara Carolan, 94, who lives in Seabrook, New Hampshire made a long-awaited trip across the country to see her little sister Shirley one last time. Shivley, Barbara's granddaughter decided to accompany her on this journey. Due to the onset of the pandemic, Barbara has not been able to meet her 90-year-old sister since 2020. Shirley, who resides in Nevada, was happy to see her older sister fly 2700 miles to meet her again as Stephanie filmed their heartfelt moment together, per WCVB.
"If we don't see each other on this earth, we'll see you in heaven," Shirley says in the clip."You betcha, you betcha," Barbara readily replies to her. "But we did, we had a wonderful, wonderful life." Shivley informed the outlet how her grandma thinks this will be the last time she gets to meet her sister. "They waited so long to see each other and if you don't know if you're going to see someone again you know, especially siblings, it must be really hard," she said.
Stephanie sneakily filmed the viral video, capturing the sisters in an emotional conversation the night before they flew back home to New Hampshire. "Don't say goodbye!" Shirley can be heard saying. "I'm not going to! There's no way I’m going to say goodbye to you," Barbara replied. Stephanie did not expect the footage to blow up on TikTok because she only wanted to post it for the purpose of sharing the moment with other family members.
"Especially with how crazy the world can get, just to see the happiness that it's bringing," Shivley said, revealing that she was shocked in the morning after posting the video and realizing that the TikTok clip had gone viral. "What if this was your last time to see your loved one? Are you telling them the things that you want to tell them or you're saying the things that you want to say? Because if you're not, you may not get a chance again," she added.
The granddaughter also made a few follow-up videos showing her grandma and Shirley when they were a tad bit younger and explaining why they couldn't be taken care of together. "Grandma lives in New Hampshire and her sister lives in Nevada. It takes a 5-hour plane ride to get there and that was a lot for her. Between the time change, getting all her medications and the differences between meals. All of it can be pretty difficult," she said in one of her follow-up videos.
The TikTok audience were bawling their eyes out for sure and some even wrote how this video prompted them to reach out to their loved ones and say whatever needed to be said to them. @katiebrowning_ wrote: "I didn’t mean to wake up and immediately sob this morning but here we are." @today_123456 commented: "There needs to be a category on this app for videos that are guaranteed to make you cry because I’m tired of randomly balling my eyes out!" @thatspicylittlerican quipped: "It's not goodbye, it's see you later. I imagine when we pass, it'll be like going home. Never again will we have to be separated from the ones we love"
@jetbackroom added: "I used to not care about where my life went but now all I want is the privilege of growing old with the people I love and sitting together and saying." @mommawilson7911 wrote: "I can’t even imagine. My brother is my best friend. We are both only in our 40s, but I don’t know how I would feel knowing I was saying goodbye."