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Grieving father's plea to Facebook: ANSWERED

  • John Berlin posted a wrenching video asking for help in viewing his late son's 'Facebook video'
  • His video took off, and he says Facebook has responded
Grieving father's plea to Facebook: ANSWERED

Warning: You will cry. And it will not be a good cry. It will be an extremely sad cry, for a father who lost his son and wanted one simple thing to help his family's grief: His son's short, 1-minute "Facebook video."

John Berlin posted a short clip expressing that desire this week on YouTube, where he spoke very frankly about his son, Jesse, who died in 2012. Jesse Berlin's Facebook page is easily accessible, and it appears as if friends and family have posted frequently since his death, tagging him in pictures and leaving wistful comments. But because he is deceased, Jesse's family couldn't view his personalized Facebook "Look Back" movie.

Since Facebook's 10th birthday Tuesday, people across the social media site have been sharing their own "Look Back" movies, 1-minute retrospectives of their lives on Facebook over the past decade. It doesn't seem like much, but to John Berlin and his family, seeing Jesse's video would mean the world. 

"I've tried email and different things, but it ain't working," Berlin says, his voice catching in his throat. "All we want to do is see his movie, that's it. I don't even need to get on his account... Everybody does these videos and things and they go viral, and that's all I'm trying to do."

"Maybe somebody will see it that counts."

Within 24 hours, Berlin's video had gotten more than 1 million views. It was shared to Reddit, where people claiming to be video editors offered to help him out with anything he wanted. People claiming to be related to or friends with Facebook employees swore they would share Berlin's message. 

And, perhaps thanks to this outpouring of support, Berlin's story may have a happy ending. On Thursday morning, Berlin posted an update under his video. 

"The response is overwhelming. We just wanted to see a 1 minute vid. Were going to get that vid. FB contacted us and theyre going to work on that vid. I want to thank everyone, for your support. I didn't know what to expect from this but it was worth a try," he wrote. 

"Hug your children kiss them," he concluded. "Tell them you love them every single day."

Berlin also posted the good news on Facebook, adding that the social networking site is looking to families like his to inspire wider change: 

"It worked I was just contacted by FB by phone and there going to make a vid just for us. They also said they're going to look at how they can better help families who have lost loved ones."

Thank you, Internet. We really needed a story like this.

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