“You betcha” Barbara Carolan traveled cross-country to see her little sister Shirley one last time — before they “see each other in heaven.”
The siblings are 94 and 90, respectively.
Barbara’s granddaughter, Stephanie Atkinson Shively, accompanied her “Gigi” on the arduous 2,700-mile journey from New Hampshire to Nevada.
Stephanie, 47, said it’s unlikely the pair will see each other in person again due to her grandma’s advanced age and the difficulties of travel.
“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,” the Boston resident told her local news outlet WMUR.
Barbara and Shirley, who hadn’t seen each other since before the COVID-19 pandemic, spent several days relishing one another’s company before it was finally time to say goodbye.
So, in order to memorialize the moments, Stephanie secretly filmed footage of the sisters sitting on the couch as they discussed their trip and their relationship before bedtime. The resulting “go hug your sister” video has since gone viral on TikTok, spawning over 13 million views — and more than a few tears.
“We had a wonderful, wonderful time,” Barbara can be heard telling sister Shirley.
“If we don’t see each other [again] on this earth, we’ll see each other in heaven,” the younger sibling declared.
“You betcha!” Barbara sobbed. “You betcha.”
Shirley subsequently implored Barbara, “Don’t say goodbye!”
“I’m not going to! There’s no way I’m going to say goodbye to you,” Barbara replied. “Until we meet again.”
Stephanie told her TikTok followers that she decided to share the footage online as a reminder for viewers to treasure memories made with their families.
“Hug your sister,” she implored in the caption of the viral video.
Viewers were overwhelmed with emotion, with one stating: “WHYYY YOU GOT ME CRYING AT 8 IN THE MORNING?!”
Another wrote, “It’s not good bye, it’s see you later. I imagine when we pass, it’ll be like going home. And never again will we have to be separated from the ones we love.”
Stephanie subsequently shared several more videos after being inundated with requests from fans.
One “last tearjerker” showed Barbara in the backseat of a car as she drove away from Shirley, bound for the airport.
She said so many strangers told her the clip compelled them reach out to loved ones — as her videos served as a potent reminder that we all only have so much time to share.
“What if this was your last time to see your loved one,” she said. “… Are you telling them the things that you want to tell them or saying the things that you want to say? Because if you’re not, you may not get a chance again.”
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