Internet Strangers Give Grieving Mother a Priceless Gift

Reddit Makes Christmas as Internet Strangers Give Grieving Mother a Priceless Gift.

Internet Strangers Give Grieving Mother a Priceless gift
Nathan McElhiney at age 15.

Angela McElhiney went through the toughest thing a parent could ever face: the death of her own child. Her son Nathan McElhiney committed suicide in October just 31 days before his 16th birthday. What would have been a horrendously awful Christmas for Angela became a bit more tolerable as internet strangers give the grieving mother a priceless gift.

McElhiney had a video of Nathan singing “Wayfaring Stranger” from a school function. Since the performance was done in the school gym, the audio quality was not perfect. The song is an American folk and gospel song from the early 19th century about a simple person on their journey through life and beyond. It includes the line, “I’ll soon be free from every trial, This form will rest beneath the sod. I’ll drop this cross of self denial and enter in my home with God”.  McElhiney told CNN, “It’s about someone going, basically, to heaven“.

Original video of Nathan McElhiney singing Wayfaring Stranger


“It was such a bad recording and I just wanted to be able to hear him better. Right now, I feel like it’s very therapeutic because I feel like it’s the journey he’s taking“, McElhiney stated.

She posted the video to Reddit asking if the community was able to help her in learning how to fix the audio herself. Immediately, she began receiving hundreds of messages sending their condolences and offers to help fix the audio.  Within just one hour of the post, she began receiving videos with cleaned up audio.

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McElhiney ended up with more than 20 new versions of Nathan’s performance. “I never expected so much kindness and so many people taking time out of their day“, she said. Each video is a bit different then the next in how it has been cleaned up.

One of the many videos McElhiney received with the audio cleaned up for her.

The kindness of strangers on Reddit helped to make this grieving mothers struggles just a little bit better. As she celebrated the first Christmas without her son, she was able to hold some comfort in being able to listen to his beautiful  in much better quality then she was able to before.

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