Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
Forest and Tremica Thompson brought reporter Wayne Drash and digital content producer Brandon Ancil into a very personal moment of their lives in January 2011: the last week of their adopted son's life. Charles Daniel battled brain cancer for two years, and then spent his last 19 days at George Mark Children’s House outside Oakland, California. Charles had come to live with the family in 2008, and received his diagnosis a few months later. The Thompsons invited CNN because they wanted to help other families going through similar ordeals.
Readers told us they were touched by this story of a family sticking together in a difficult time, and we in turn were touched by their heartfelt responses.
Some had lost a child, too.
James Martinez: "Amazing parents and family. The death of a child is so unnatural, there's nothing you can do to prepare for it even when you know it will happen. You gave Charles a beautiful life and you were with him when he left this earth, there is nothing more important than your children knowing you stand with them and love them unconditionally. Our love for our children stands the test of time and is everlasting. Your son is with you still, just not present. Don't think of him as being in your past, think of him as being in your future. You will see him again. My young daughter's cancer journey lasted just four months. We were by her side every step of the way and she remained positive as did we even when the doctors told us her time was ending. She died on Thanksgiving Day 2011, just four months after being diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. A 5 year old girl with ovarian cancer is something you never expect to hear as a parent. We miss her, as you do Charles, and we struggle each day to make it through. We are anguished by her passing and are angry at everyone, from the doctors who were helpless to save her to God for letting this happen. We know time will ease our pain and temper our anger, but we will never be the same. I wish you peace and comfort. God Bless you. God Bless every family with young warriors battling cancer."
Others said the story brought tears to their eyes.
James Robinson: "Thank you Forest for showing the world what it means to be a true man. Everything that could be said about your wonderful family has probably already been said here in some form, but I wanted you to know this story touched me on a very personal level and left me in tears, and as a journalism major who has read many many pieces, and written a few myself, this is the first story I can recall that has left me so full of emotion, and so glad to know there are people in this world like yourself and your beautiful family. As a father myself, you make me proud. Charles is still with you. Know that. He is there in your home, watching over you. What you do in life and how you treat others does matter. It doesn't matter how much money you make or what you do for a living, what you did for Charles is what matters. Folks like you are what matter. Thank you for sharing your story and peace, love and light to your family."
Several readers told us that a "real man" is someone who can really parent their child.
NewMexico763: "Forest Thompson is a real man. Any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a dad. Forest, I thank you for showing us the meaning of true love for those of our own and others. Tremica, you are precious in the eyes of parents worldwide for showing your love and care for Charles and your other children. Thank you for sharing your families love and thank you for allowing us to have a glimpse of Charles short life."
Nolan Wheeler: "Couldn't have said it any better. By the way, who is cutting up onions?"
It's the humanity of the story that stole our collective hearts.
supermodel: "I've never read anything from CNN that was this touching and wonderful. Please CNN report more stories like this. Alongside the stories of wars, famine, hate, and even the ridiculous stories about the clothes some silly celebrity decided to wear, report these stories as well. These stories remind us of the humanity, love, and grace that still exists in a world that becomes more scarier to live in by the day."
For those who've lost a family member, it was a chance to reflect and appreciate the wonder of life.
NTwoDeep: "This story truly touched my heart as it's one that is rarely reported these days. Many blessings to Forest, Tremica, and their children. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree, that Charles is an angel, who was 'on loan' to everyone who knew him and who now, have read this story. It's truly hard to watch a loved one 'pass' due to cancer. My Mom passed back in April 1997 and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her. She died of lung cancer, and when I read this story, I truly "inserted" the names of my four siblings, my father and Mom, and yes, myself, for the names of Forest, Tremica, Charles, Trayshaun, Nate, Shaunee and Ariel. My 'Charles' was my Mom. Being a true "Momma's Boy", it's not hard to feel for the Thompson family, as the pain that each family member has, in the loss of a loved one, is just daunting. In my family, no one really wanted to air their pain and sense of loss with my Mom, but I did. Everyone wanted to be "brave", but I wanted my best friend to know that she would be deeply missed. I cried for hours, but my Mom just held me tight and said all would be just fine. And yes, she was right. My Mom is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and Virginia will always be "home" for me, even though I've lived in Texas for some 25+ years now. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is buried in Virginia.
Each of us knows that one day, we'll each die. This story, is so very uplifting as it focuses on such a tremendous family and gives us all a sense of what is truly important in the world and in life. CNN, this is one of the best stories you've written and SHARED in years. This is the type of story that should be on the front page, everyday. To the Thompson family ... 'thank you' for sharing your love story with us. May God continue to bless each of you, as you have blessed those of us who are privileged to have read this article. Always in my heart ..."
The crying and the sobbing came from different places.
tiredofpc: "I found myself crying, even sobbing at times while reading the story. The crying was for the loss of Charles, a wonderful young man. The sobbing was both for the pain that the family felt while on this journey, but also for a deep appreciation for the strength and loving endurance that his family exhibited throughout. All of the family, Forest, Tamica, all of the children, what wonderful souls you have to open yourselves to love, first with Chalres, and now with your new 2 year old. God bless you all and thank you so much for sharing your story."
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Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.