Ami Shroyer of High Point, North Carolina recently shared a video on Instagram of her 9-year-old daughter, Sadiella, singing an acapella version of Adele’s “Hello.” The ethereally beautiful vocals were accompanied by a heartbreaking caption, “This song became popular about the time we lost Mike. She would sing it over and over in her room, and I asked her one time why she liked this song so much. Her response: ‘I think Daddy can hear me from the other side, and I’m sorry for everything I ever did that was wrong.’”
You see, Sadiella has experienced a heartbreak that far surpasses her age. In December of 2015, her father Mike passed away from an unexplained obstruction. After multiple ER visits, nothing was found. With no known diagnosis, the doctors put him on harsh medication that eventually led to his inability to swallow, walk, or even sit up. After 11 days in the hospital, he went into cardiac arrest.
“I watched through the clear glass window as they tried to revive him,” Ami shared with us. “That experience is nothing like it is in the movies. The doctor called his time of death, and my brother held me up from behind.”
Mike left behind his wife of 19 years (they had just celebrated their final anniversary when he was in the hospital), his daughter Sadiella, and his 13-year-old son J. Michael.
Five months later, while the family was still grieving, another tragedy struck. Ami’s father, Sadiella’s grandfather, passed away from a brain hemorrhage after years of being on blood thinners for a heart defect that was discovered when he was 40.
“My father was a professional Santa after years of being a choir director and music minister,” Ami told Babble. “He was a farmer with the heartiest laugh and warmest smile on the planet.”
When asked how her kids have responded to the death of their father and grandfather, Ami shared, “Thankfully, they already had such a strong eternal perspective. We each feel the reality that we are one foot in this world, and one in the next.”
Sadiella says that the thing she misses most about her dad is, “That he would always hold me and snuggle with me when mommy was gone and I couldn’t sleep.”
Despite their many hardships, the Shroyer family has found a peace both through their grounding faith and the gift of music.
“Sadie truly was born singing,” Ami said. “She made noises as an infant that were just glorious.”
Sadiella, who started making up her first songs at age 2, says her greatest dream in life is to be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Both she and J. Michael are self-taught, but the gene is definitely in the family since Ami herself is a singer/songwriter, recording artist, and worship leader.
Sadiella shared with us that she feels “amazingly good” when she sings and that, depending on the song, she definitely feels closer to her dad when she uses her beautiful voice. And if she could talk to him one last time? “I would just tell him that I love him, and I miss him,” said Sadiella.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Shroyer family as they seek answers for Mike’s unexplained death and work through their healing process with love, grace, and hope.More On