Following news that 22 people were killed Monday in a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, many people shared a pertinent quote by Fred Rogers: "Look for the helpers."
On Twitter, Breznican shared a personal story of how Mister Rogers himself was one of those "helpers" when he needed it most.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, where Rogers was from and where the show was based, Breznican loved watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, he told BuzzFeed News.
However, in 1997, during a tough time in his junior year at the University of Pittsburgh, he unintentionally rediscovered it.
One morning, he heard the show playing in his dorm's common room. He stopped to watch a minute or two of it and wound up watching the whole episode.
About a week later, Breznican got quite a surprise when he stepped into an elevator to discover Mister Rogers standing there.
"I thought, I’m not going to hassle this guy," said Breznican. "But I had to tell him thank you."
And to Breznican's surprise, Mister Rogers hugged him. "It's good to see you again, neighbor," he said.
It was then that Breznican told Rogers the story of rediscovering the show when he needed it most.
And rather than simply thank him, Rogers invited him to come talk to him about it.
Breznican sat on a window ledge with Rogers and opened up to him about feeling uncertain, alone, and grieving his grandfather, who'd died a few months prior.
Rogers told him about his own grandfather, and how he still missed him so many years later.
"You'll never stop missing the people you love," Rogers said, but you'll always carry with you what they taught you and how they shaped you as a person.
"Those things never go away," Rogers told him.
After 10 or 15 minutes, they parted ways. Breznican thanked Rogers for listening to him.
Breznican never saw Mister Rogers again, but 20 years later, their conversation stays with him.
So when Rogers died in 2003, it deeply touched him. "I wasn't crying over the death of a celebrity," said Breznican.
"I was mourning the loss of a neighbor."
Breznican's story has been shared widely online and is being met with very few dry eyes.
Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Julia Reinstein at email@example.com.
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