“Dear Me” to 9-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 9-year-old me,

You survived, you made it! Every thing inside me goes out to you, for the pain you had to endure, the emotions you locked up and buried and most importantly the childhood you lost.

I know it hurt to be the only kid at school who didn’t have a mum ‘cause you were. But know what, people didn’t know what to do with that. It’s them, not you.

No one, had the right to take grief from you- that sucked and it was unfair.

Your mother’s death has created a detour in your life, with a wide gaping hole full of emptiness and pain. But, know what- that detour, as horrible as it is- is okay. It will make you into a strong, resilient woman who doesn’t back off and who faces challenges and life head on. You will grow up to realize that being a misfit is a gift is disguise and you will become a person who refuses to follow the herd, who’s not afraid to be herself and to show up no matter what.

You did go to that first day of school after summer and when kids were sharing their summer stories- yours was the most dramatic. Let me tell you that although there will never be closure to what happened all these years ago you will be able to emerge. You will take all this pain and sorrow and learn from it, you will find in yourself so much love and you will share it with your child. And even though your mother isn’t mentioned much, you know that she lives on through you. You are allowed to grieve, you are allowed to feel resentment but you are also allowed to give yourself compassion and treat her with the grace she was denied. You will move on, you will be stronger and this detour doesn’t have to be a cloud that forever overshadows your life. You will also be able to find it in your heart to forgive all those who did you wrong.

You may always wonder how things would have been if your mother hadn’t died and that’s okay. But know that you’re also allowed to let go of all the “should haves”, “would haves” and “could haves”.

You’re allowed to be your beautiful, broken, work-in-progress self.

I love you.

Your 39-year-old self.