Tragic story emerges after neighbour's 'insensitive' letter

Ash Cant
·3-min read

A family grappling with the loss of two loved ones received a letter demanding they take down their Christmas lights.

Sara Pascucci of Long Island, New York lost her 61-year-old father Tony and her 70-year-old aunt Connie to Covid-19.

The Pascucci family, including Sara and her two-year-old child, all came down with Covid on Christmas Eve. The grieving daughter told CBS New York her father passed on January 15.

“Both deaths were so sudden, there was no time to plan for the future, both immediate and long term,” a GoFundMe set up to benefit the family said.

Days after her father died, Sara received an anonymous letter, asking her to remove the Christmas decorations from her family home.

Sara Pascucci pictured in a selfie. Source: Facebook
Sara Pascucci received an anonymous note demanding she take down her Christmas decorations, right after her father died. Source: Facebook

“Take your Christmas lights down,” the note said.

“It’s Valentines Day!”

It is unclear if the person who wrote the note knew that Sara had recently lost her father and aunt, although she did speak about it on her social media account.

The note doesn’t appear to be a targeted attack against Sara and her family. Other neighbours in the area, who still have their decorations up, received similar notes.

A printed letter says: Take your Christmas lights down! It's Valentine's Day!!!
The letter angrily pointed out that it was almost Valentine's Day. Source: ABC7

Daughter responds to ‘insensitive’ letter

As it turns out, Sara’s father had put the Christmas lights up before his death. She told CBS New York her father loved Christmas.

“Those are like our fond memories that we have of him, just always decorating,” she said.

Sara responded to the anonymous note in a local mother’s Facebook group, explaining the loss and calling the letter “insensitive”.

Tony Pascucci's Christmas lights decoration.
Tony Pascucci enjoyed decorating the family home for Christmas, he came down with Covid-19 on Christmas Eve. Source: CBS New York

“We have been left to take care of our home now, not to mention battling all the emotions that go with this,” Sara said.

“We have been busy with the funeral arrangements, mortgage/utility payments and just the grieving process of it all.

“So yes, we haven’t gotten around to taking down his Christmas decorations. And maybe we just aren’t ready to yet.”

Sara urged anyone in the group to forward her post to anyone who might be inclined to send such a note, she also offered some advice to the person who wrote the note.

“Be kind to people because you never know what they are going through,” Sara said.

“May you never have to feel the pain that we have felt within the past few weeks. Maybe next time offer a helping hand to someone that may be in need.”

Sara Pascucci explained the situation in a Facebook group after receiving the note about the decorations. Source: GoFundMe
Sara Pascucci explained the situation in a Facebook group after receiving the note about the decorations. Source: GoFundMe

Community supports grieving family

Eileen Lehpamer, a reporter with News12 shared a screenshot of Sara’s post to her Facebook.

Several people expressed empathy for Sara and her family, and were in shock her family received such a letter.

“Wow. Still seeing some lights up has brought me joy!” one person said.

“These people are petty and have way too much time on their hands.”

One person even offered to help Sara when she was ready to take down the decorations.

“When YOU are ready, (whether it be a day, a week or a year) to take your decorations down, please PM me. I would be more than happy to help,” one person offered on Facebook.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Pascucci family with funeral costs and household expenses. More than US$4500 has been raised so far.

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