Letters with a Lasting Touch
My wife and I welcomed our first child (a son) into the world on December 31st, 2016. New Year’s Eve. My parents made the two hour trip to the hospital a couple days later to meet their first grandchild and, for a brief moment, everything in my world was completely perfect.
My dad was put into hospice care about a week later and on Friday, the 13th of January, 2017, he was gone. My son and dad will forever be linked by their start and end, respectively, in this world. I still struggle immensely with the emotions that I experienced in such a short amount of time...the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Driving back and forth between my dying dad and my new beautiful boy.
After my dad passed, my mom, sister, and I were sorting through his things and came across some letters he had written for each of us before he died. In his letter to me, he wrote, among other things, of his love for me, how proud he was of me, and his continued hopes and dreams for my future. Being able to read his words after his passing had and continues to have a profound impact on me.
New children don’t have what most people would call a “normal” sleep schedule. In fact, having a child is right towards the top of the list of most erratic and disruptive things you could try to form some semblance of sleep around. My dad was still an overpowering presence in my mind those first many months of 2017. He continues to be, but in a different way. Constant needed care and thoughts of the men on each generational side of me kept my sleep at a minimum.
During many of those sleepless nights I would read my dad’s letter (still do at least once a week) and at some point realized I wanted to give others a secure and trusted way they provide a similar personal and lasting touch to their loved ones. This was the start of Ultimo Gifts. Pouring time and resources into it, as well as recruiting amazing friends to help, things started coming together. The focus never changed though...this was going to be a mostly philanthropic mission with over half of all profits going to a few of so many potential meaningful charities. If my dad taught me anything, it was we are a very fortunate family and we need to make sure to give back.
A couple months into this endeavor, I realized it was one of the ways I was coping with the loss of my dad. And it wasn’t just the business itself. It was all the connections I was making through the business that have led me to talk with grief podcast hosts, funeral directors, read and learn more about everything from Buddhism to psychedelics to palliative care. Things I knew little to nothing about and am still just beginning to explore, but that have brought some comfort and understanding to my world.
Becoming a dad and losing my dad within two weeks of each other has been difficult on so many levels and spun me like a top, emotionally and empathetically. But, building Ultimo Gifts has been an incredibly therapeutic journey that I hope to share with as many people as can benefit from it.
About Ultimo Gifts
Ultimo Gifts is a unique service that allows you to continue giving gifts and heartfelt reminders to loved ones even after you have passed on. Whether it be for an anniversary, birthday, or other special day, Ultimo will make sure your loved ones get a reminder of how much they meant to you.
Please enjoy a 10% discount on an Ulitmo Gift purchase of $50 or more (valid through 12/2/18, excludes gift cards). Ulitmo Gifts will also be giving an additional 10% to Survivor Chest’s initiative to open Pam’s Wellness Center.