Toddler hugs pizza delivery man goodbye, not knowing that he’s grieving the loss of his own daughter

Children can surprise us in many different ways. In the case of a toddler named Cohen, he did what his parents thought was a “sweet and funny” gesture, but it turned out to mean something more to its recipient.

Lindsey Sheely from West Warwick, Rhode Island ordered delivery at Wicked Good Pizza. Cohen, her two-year-old son ran to the porch with his mother to say goodbye.

The child was holding a box of ranch dressing in one hand and his other arm extended for a hug. The pizza guy stopped to lean into the boy’s embrace before telling him, “Enjoy your pizza!”

Photo by Lindsey Sheely

The toddler was so excited that he tried to kiss him. But his mom said that he should just blow kisses.

The adorable interaction was captured on Sheely’s doorbell camera. The footage was uploaded to Instagram and Facebook the day after.

“We thought it was so sweet and funny,” she wrote. “I hope it gives you a laugh and warms your heart like it did for us.”

Ryan Catterson sent her a message stating that he had seen the video and that he was her pizza man. Catterson stated that he saw the doorbell footage through a mutual acquaintance and asked if he could post it on Facebook.

Pizza delivery guy hugging toddler

When Sheely visited his profile, she was shocked to see a GoFundMe page for the funeral expenses of Catterson’s 16-year-old daughter, Alyssa, who unexpectedly passed away just a week before.

“After losing my daughter this past week, it touched me because it was like she was there. It really just meant a lot to me,” Catterson told WLNE about Cohen’s actions.

Sheely called her son’s hug for Catterson a “little blessing from God.”

“I believe in divine appointments and know that Ryan was the one to deliver our pizza for a reason,” she said.

Ryan Catterson, Cohen, and Lindsey Sheely

Catterson also believes the same.

“Just that it was the perfect timing for it, I had been telling my kids and the whole family how much I needed hugs before they came and then that sweet little boy gave me one,” he told NBC 10 News. “It was almost as if the universe or my daughter had known and sent it to me.”

Sheely updated her Facebook post to include a link to Catterson’s GoFundMe page for Alyssa, encouraging her friends and family to donate.

“I couldn’t believe that this guy was going through the most devastating thing, but his life was still going on. His life had to go forward, and he still had to work and to do his job,” she told the outlet. “You never know what people are going through. This is such a good example of that.”

Catterson stated that her daughter used live with Danielle McCord in California. McCord said that Cohen’s seemingly simple gesture had such a huge impact on Alyssa’s dad. She said the child’s actions were a lesson on empathy.

Ryan Catterson and his daughter Alyssa

“It’s so easy to miss people and their internal pain. Even with our daughter, we didn’t know her pain. I can’t help but be grateful that someone saw his pain and could be there for him,” she said.

According to some reports, Alyssa had suffered from mental health problems as a child. For Catterson, Cohen’s hug only lasted a few seconds, but it’s a moment that he would treasure forever.

“If I could tell the world one thing, it’s to make sure you check on your kids constantly, because you never know what they might be struggling with internally,” Catterson said in a written statement to Sheely.

Although he may never be able hug and hold his daughter again, he knows Alyssa will make him feel her love in many other ways, just as she did with this sweet boy.

Watch the video to learn more about this touching story.

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