Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
June 30, 2024 ·  7 min read

He Died In Afghanistan But When His Wife Opens His Laptop She Discovers The Truth He Was Hiding

Being married to a soldier is not easy. There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of time spent alone,  and, of course, a lot of fear. Fear that when your partner goes off to work each day, they might not return. When a soldier dies overseas, there are no “last moments” with them, not proper goodbyes – you just one day receive the news that they’re gone. This is what happened to this soldier’s wife. She thought she’d heard her husband’s last words. That is until she opened up his laptop to find letters to both her and their baby girl.

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too memorable, too beautiful, or too touching to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to experience again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little something to your day.

Wife Finds Letters From Her Soldier Husband’s Laptop After He Dies Overseas

Todd Weaver was a soldier for the United States on tour in Afghanistan in 2010.  He was killed by an IED – an improvised explosive device. A loving husband and father, he left behind his wife and their baby girl, who wasn’t yet one year old. The United States Army transported Todd’s body back to the country so that he could be laid to rest by his wife and family. (1)

Baby's first Christmas: Mrs Weaver poses next to the tree with Lt weaver and their beloved daughter in 2009. It would be the last Christmas she would share with her father
Image Credit: Emma Weaver via Daily Mail

Two days after the funeral, his wife Emma was going through some of Todd’s things, including the laptop that he’d had with him in Afghanistan. Right there on the desktop, there were two files. One was labeled “Dear Emma” and the other “Dear Kiley”. Heart beating a little faster, Emma took a deep breath and opened the files. She began with the letter addressed to her. (2)

Dear Emma

What Emma found in the first folder was a letter that her husband wrote when he left for Afghanistan. It was a letter to her that expressed his love for her. He wanted to give some final words and something to help her get through the dark days in case he didn’t come home.

Reminder: Mrs Weaver also had her letter framed in between a picture of the couple on their wedding day
Image Credit: Emma Weaver via Daily Mail

Dear Emma,
Well if you are reading this, I guess I did not make it home and therefore, I was not able to remind you again of how much I love you.
I love you so much baby and I will always love you. Although I may not be here right now, take comfort in the fact that I am watching over you right now.
I am not gone and I will always be with you in spirit. I know this time must be hard for you but I also know how strong you are.
Never forget that God knew what’s best for us before we were even born. Take comfort in that. This happened for a reason. Although you may not believe it now, you will one day.
I want you to know how important you are to me. I could not ask for a more caring, beautiful, and loving wife. The memories we have shared over the last few years have been the best of my life. Although it may seem like my life was cut short, I lived a life that most can only dream of. I married the perfect woman. I have a beautiful daughter that amazed me every day.
I even had two great dogs – at least most of the time. I couldn’t ask for anything more. If you feel sad, just think back to the memories we shared. Look at our daughter and how beautiful she is.
Be strong for her. Remind her about her Daddy and tell her that I loved her more than anything else in the world. Her birth was the best day of my life and she was the best thing that ever happened to me. Her smile and laughter represent all that is good and beautiful in this world.
Tell her that Daddy is in heaven now and will watch over her and protect her every minute of every day. I love you Emma. But never be afraid to do what you need to do to be happy. It is so important that you continue to find happiness in your life. Although you may think that this is impossible right now, have faith.
Much better times are coming. You and Kiley have a wonderful life ahead of you and I am so happy to have shared some of it with you.
I love you.”

Read: My Wife Of 51 Years Died. Here’s What I Learned About Grief That I Never Knew Before

Dear Kiley

The second letter was one he wrote to their baby girl. This letter will be special for Kiley, as he knew that if he died while on deployment, she, unfortunately, won’t remember her father. 

Memento: Mrs Weaver had Kiley's letter superimposed onto a picture of the soldier and their daughter when she was around a week old
Image Credit: Emma Weaver via Daily Mail

“Dear Kiley,
Although you may not remember me, I want you to know how very much your daddy loves you.
I left for Afghanistan when you were 9 months old. Leaving you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
You are so very special to me, sweetie – you are truly a gift from God. The best day of my life was the day you were born. Every time I saw you smile my heart would just melt. You were my sweetie – my life was not complete until you were born.
I’m so sorry that I will not be able to see you grow up. But remember your daddy is not gone. I am in heaven now, smiling down on you every day. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful mom to take care of you. Make sure you are good for her and help her out whenever you can.
Always remember to say your prayers at night and be thankful for your many blessings. Never forget how important and special you are to so many people.
We love you so very much. When you get older and start school, do your best to try and learn as much as you can about the world you live in.
Always be nice and caring and you will discover that the world will be nice to you. But when things aren’t going your way, never forget that God knows what is best for you and everything will work out in the end.
You have such a bright and beautiful future ahead of you. Have fun. Enjoy it. And remember, your Daddy will always be proud of you and will always love you.
You are and always will be my sweetie.
With very much love,
Your Daddy.”

Emma’s Thoughts

Emma began writing a blog called A Day In The Life before Todd passed away. She wrote about his letters on her blog and what they meant for her. While the words were hard to read, she said that they brought her peace.

“I couldn’t imagine being at war and seeing what he did everyday and then having the courage to write goodbye letters to the one’s you love. He was so strong,” she wrote.

She had the letters each printed over the top of photos that were special to each pair. Her letter she placed overtop of one of their wedding photos. Kiley, she printed over a photo of her sitting on Todd’s lap when she was only about one week old. Though the letters were private, Emma decided it was important to share her husband’s wisdom.

“Although they are private letters I have thought long and hard about how significant they are and the importance of sharing the depth of wisdom Todd had for being 26 years old at the time of his death,” she wrote.

Emma says that her husband and his letters have given her so much courage. She says life is harder now than she could have ever imagined it, but she knows it is not something that she can change. She plans to make sure that, though little Kiley may not remember her father, that she will know all about him. Most importantly, that he will always be there in her heart.

If you would like to read an update on Emma and Kiley you can do so here.

Keep Reading: Family begs for their infant son’s ashes to be returned after U-Haul stolen


  1. ‘Daddy will always love you’: Soldier’s heartbreaking goodbye letter to his baby daughter from beyond the grave after he dies in Afghanistan.” Daily Mail. Amy Oliver. June 1, 2011.
  2. Soldier Husband Killed in Afghanistan. 2 Days after Funeral, Wife Opens His Laptop & Finds Letter.” Western Journal. Tia Starr. September 19, 2017.