Ashley Whisenhunt, 22, is now a widow after her husband Mitchell, 26, lost his battle with Marfan syndrome, which is a genetic disorder of connective tissues. Mitchell left behind Ashley and their 1-year-old daughter, Bryn.
Before his death, Mitchell penned 30 letters for his wife and daughter to open and read on certain dates, the New York Daily News reports. The letters addressed to Ashley are to be opened on their wedding anniversaries, while the ones addressed to Bryn are to be read every year on her birthday until she turns 18-years-old.
Mitchell was diagnosed with the disorder more than four years ago, and Ashley decided to drop out of college to care for her ailing husband.
Ashley discovered the stack of letters shortly after Mitchell’s death in the hospital on October 18. The first letter was addressed to the Longview, Texas, community where the Whisenhunts live. Mitchell took the time to thank the community for their support and had one last request.
“To whom it may concern, if this is being read, I have passed. In this grieving period for my wife, the last thing I want her to worry about is the coming cost of my funeral. I would ask the community to come together for last donation drive to help with the cost of my funeral. I will be cremated in the next few days. I would just like my wife’s mind to be at ease.”
Mitchell was concerned of the burden that her wife will have for his funeral, as they have already spent most of their money for his treatments. Mitchell’s family, as well as members of the Longview, Texas, community, are selling T-shirts and bracelets to raise funds for the funeral. They are also planning a larger fund-raising activity.
ABC News reported that there was another surprise for Mitchell’s wife. Ashley used a spiral notebook during her college years, and she found a letter from Mitchell asking her to publish a book containing poetry that he had written.
Mitchell had planned for his funeral, and Ashley is raising money through a GoFundMe page. Ashley had no idea that Mitchell was writing letters during his final days, and she is wondering what else her late husband has in store for her.
“There are ones we still don’t know about. The funeral director said he couldn’t tell me. It was Mitchell’s plan and secret.”
[Images via GoFundMe page]