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Internet helps grieving dad recover songs from wife who died in childbirth

Jared Buhanan-Decker's Facebook page via CBS News

Jared Buhanan-Decker's Facebook page via CBS News

NEW YORK — Four months ago, Jared Buhanan-Decker lost the love of his life — his wife, mother of his baby and the woman he was with for more than a decade.

Sharry Buhanan-Decker, 29, died “unexpectedly and tragically” during the birth of their first child, James, due to an amniotic fluid embolism, a rare condition that occurs when amniotic fluid enters the mother’s bloodstream.

Weeks before Sharry’s untimely death, the mom-to-be recorded a few lullabies for James.

Jared recently discovered the songs on a home computer that his late wife left behind — but he wasn’t able to open the files.

The 33-year-old went looking for assistance online, and with the help of a group of strangers on Reddit, he was able to hear Sharry’s angelic voice once again.

He posted the following question:

This may be the wrong subreddit but any help or direction would be fabulous! Odd request for help. My wife recently died during the childbirth of our first baby, needless to say life has been hell the last two months. She dabbled in writing and recording songs nothing professional of course but very important to me. I found her backups but they are all in the PTF format which I have discovered is the “protools” session. I do not want to buy the expensive pro tools (will if required) but want to figure out if there is any simple way to convert these into MP3 or another more user friendly format? She knew how to do all of this stuff but I have no idea. I just want to be able to hear her voice again. Thank you.

Dozens of people were quick to jump in, offering the new dad advice on how to convert the files.

“I’ll have this done in an hour,” one Reddit user wrote. “Sorry for your loss dude.”

Less than an hour later, the user said he was “all done,” and the dad had freshly remixed MP3 files of his wife’s music.

“Seriously AMAZING!” Buhanan-Decker replied.

According to the family’s blog, Sharry recorded a handful of songs over the years the couple was together.

“We always had very poor equipment that brought plenty of frustration to both of us but I think she worked magic with what we had,” Buhanan-Decker explained.

The new dad says he’s been listening to the “powerful, comforting, confusing and heartbreaking” songs she recorded — at least once a day since James was born.

“I am beginning the next and most difficult chapter in my life thus far without my rock, my best friend who I am still completely dependent on,” Buhanan-Decker said. “I will need ongoing support throughout [James’] life to attempt to keep his life path anywhere near the amazing trajectory his future once had.”