Dawn sent a message to the wrong number, but what happened next is a staggering lesson.

Sending a text message to the wrong person is usually… awkward.

I’ve heard stories of people accidentally texting their parents instead of their partners and, oh, the second-hand embarrassment was real.

But for a family in Canada, a few mixed-up digits had a heartwarming result that has reminded us all that a little can go a long way.

Dawn Burke had intended to text her nephew Quentin with details of her aunt’s upcoming funeral, but the message went to the wrong recipient: a university student named Leena.

Little did Dawn know, Leena would soon bring a smile to her face at a time she needed it most.

“Is this Quentin?” Dawn’s first text read.

Leena decided to play along at first, typing back “Yea who’s this? (sic)”.

After it became clear Dawn was attempting to text her nephew about a funeral, Leena revealed that she had texted the wrong number.

But it was a simple gesture in her second text that made a dark time slightly brighter for Dawn.

“Can I come celebrate auntie Debbie’s celebration of life [with you] guys?” she wrote.

A few days later, Leena drove 30 minutes to Debbie’s wake, fruit bowl in hand, to meet the family of the woman who had accidentally texted her, and celebrate the life of her dearly departed aunt.

The text exchange, and a selfie taken on the day, has since gone viral on Twitter:


Speaking to The Star, Leena said when she first arrived to the wake with her fruit bowl, she was met with a “sea of confused faces”.

But she waded through the crowd to find Dawn, who was utterly thrilled to see her surprise guest in the flesh.

“I showed her the fruit bowl. And she freaked out and got all excited,” recalled Leena.

“Culturally, that’s what we do. If someone invites you somewhere or brings you somewhere, you should bring something,” Leena, who is of Sudanese descent, told the publication.

She said she was drawn to the wake because she’d never heard of people “celebrating a life” before.

So she spent the afternoon doing just that – viewing photos of Debbie and learning about the type of woman she was. When talking to family members, some even commented on how much she reminded them of their aunt, some through tears of happiness, Leena recalled.

Dawn commented that she, too, was inspired by Debbie’s character to invite Leena; had she still been alive, it was something she would have done.


“I just thought ‘I’ve gotta go with this, because my aunt Debbie would.’ Aunt Deb would invite these people, whoever they are, into her home. That’s just who she was,” said Dawn.

After the funeral, Dawn tweeted her new friend Leena:

“My family hasn’t stopped talking about that all weekend long… they are telling everyone about this story!”

“You are a truly amazing woman. You have brightened our weekend that’s for sure :) Thank you!”

And this has brightened our day.

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