“Dear Me” to 16-year-old Me

The NACG sent out a call for letters from those who experienced childhood bereavement. The letters were to be written to their younger self and hopefully show today’s grieving children and teens that there is a brighter future ahead.

The following letter’s author is anonymous.

Dear 16-year-old Me,

Fourteen years have gone by since your mother died. There have been fourteen Easters, fourteen birthdays, fourteen Christmas, fourteen Thanksgivings, and many more celebrations your mother was not there for. You have survived all of them.

Some of them have been easier than others, but what I want to tell you is that you have kept your mother’s memory alive. People have tried to stop you from being sad or feeling the way you feel, but you have not let them discourage you.

I know sometimes it feels as if none of this is real and when you talk about her it is as if she never existed. She died and it has been very difficult, but you survived. Not just survived; you thrived.

Keep writing to her, keep journaling, and keep talking about her. It is so important and has helped you so much in your grief journey. You found your own way of healing and dealing with the sadness. You created a life for yourself in Florida and have managed to graduate college.

You are now volunteering for a grief center that helps children who have been through similar situations. You are helping other children find ways to cope with their sadness and grief.

Your strength through the last fourteen years amazes me, sitting here thinking about it. You enjoy life to the fullest and your joy is contagious. You never let your situation dictate your life.

Yes, your mom dying definitely played a part in who you are now, but it does not define you or the last fourteen years. You will continue having holidays and festivities, but I know you are strong enough to handle them. I also know she will be a part of all those memories.

Stay strong my 16-year-old self.