The Death Letters Project was started as an artistic expression of the wondrous nature of life and experience, and to help along the stages of grief.
The goal of the project is to collect death letters - letters we would write over a death of a loved one, or the impending journey onward of someone terminal including ourselves.
This is a community for you to express yourself.
Read a letter. Write a letter.
This is a place to celebrate life. If you are depressed and are thinking of committing suicide, please Click Here - You are a wonderful person, believe in yourself. Pain shall pass, life is beautiful, and it always goes on.
My Darling Melissa,
Always remember to plan out your fruits and vegetables every day.
By the time you read this, I have already gone.
But I am confident that by the time you read this, you know your way about the kitchen, how to prepare our secret paella recipe, your late mother’s brownies, even your grandfather’s goat papait and kaldereta in tomato sauce. I know your eating habits by heart, from the very first time you opened your eyes in your mother’s arms, to your teenage years with all sorts of sweet and junk food found in the refrigerator. But I was so grateful that you later on learned to plan your meals and be a healthy, responsible eater later on. Could you believe I was scared to death thinking of what preservative, sugar-loaded food you keep putting in your mouth during the time you went away for college? Those were some of my horrific times, thinking of how you were doing on your own, who you were with, if you had anything decent and home-cooked to eat.
You see sweetheart, all that completes a day is a good home-cooked meal to satisfy your daily needs and nutrition. It does not matter what you did your whole day, as long as you spend enough time in the kitchen to cook, and feed your tired body. Believe me sweetie, when you have a family of your own, you will be thinking and worrying like me, even sacrificing so much just to be able to put food on the table. At the end of the day, the kitchen is the place that is responsible for bringing all your family members together.
I know you prepare meals to a T, and your husband is very lucky to have you, just as I was with your mother. She made the best adobo in the city and you could imagine that we ate what we wanted to anytime we wanted to.
Just like how each meal takes time to be prepared, that is how relationships are with people around you, everything takes time, trust and you need the patience to see how it all turns out.
I know you will do well.
This is probably the last time you will ever hear from me. It’s going to be strange, not going to see you every Sunday. But it’s probably for the best. Now I won’t have to endure questions about ‘what happened to your father’ anymore. I’ll just say you ‘passed’ and people won’t push it any further. Not like when I tell them you’re in jail and they want every gory little detail. Although, it actually didn’t happen as much when I said you were on ‘death row’ instead of just ‘jail’.
Did you get your pancakes and sausage and bacon and ice cream and jello (jello, really?) and pork ribs for your last meal like you always said? I can’t imagine they gave you all that, but maybe they did. Did you enjoy it they way you said you would?
I’m not going to the execution. So I guess last Sunday was probably the last time you’ll ever see me too. Maybe that’s a little selfish of me. But I just can’t go, Dad. I can’t watch them kill you. Whatever you’ve done in the past…you’re still my dad. I don’t know how to stop feeling guilty about loving you anyway, but I do. I guess I don’t know if I even should stop feeling that way.
I’m angry at you too Dad. You’ve spent my entire life in jail. You never denied anything they said you did. You never tried to explain it and I’ve never gotten to know you in anything other than an orange jumpsuit because of it. I didn’t get to do all the things fathers and daughters are supposed to get to do together. And now, you’re going to be gone.
What a waste.
Well, regardless and in spite of it all, I love you dad.
To my dearest daughter, Martha, on this the 8th of March, 1971
I am growing weak, my dear, and fear I will not see very many more mornings. I must say, when I signed on as a medic, I never knew it would be such a dangerous job. The bullet that hit me came dangerously close to my heart. At first, it seemed like a close save, a miracle of sorts. But I contracted lead poisoning shortly after. There aren’t the necessary treatments available to me in a POW camp in the middle of Vietnam. That’s what they told me. Although I am beginning t o suspect that I am just not worth enough to them to save. I am allowed to write to you because of how dangerously close I am to death now.
War is an ugly affair, Martha. Promise me you will never become involved with it, and that when you get married and have a family you will not allow any of them to either. I can remember a time when war was a patriotic thing and returning soldiers were honored as heroes. They were the defenders of peace and freedom, the real-life Captain Americas. But times have changed. We are no longer regarded as legendary protectors of peace, but instead are treated as bullies. Soldiers returning from Vietnam are spat on and have rotten fruit thrown at them. Is defending a people who do not want your protection worth it?
I never fantasized about my death, but I certainly did not imagine it would be like this. Alone, in a foreign place, serving a country that will only tarnish my memory because of this damned war. I heard that it may be over soon, though. A few days ago they pulled many of our troops out and returned them home. I regret the fact that I will not see the end before my passing. I am growing weak now, and cannot bring myself to write anything further. I love you immensely, Martha, and wish you a very happy, full life. I am going to visit your mother now; I shall give her your best.
Your loving father
On the day you were born I knew you would be different than your sisters. You looked at me with your eyes fully focused on mine, as if you were trying to tell me something. All I wanted to do was to hug you and hold you because you seemed so lonely and distant. You’ve never cried for attention, which made me yearn for yours even more. I desperately needed you to accept me. You were something special since the very beginning.
When you started walking and showing more signs of independence, I steadily grew more concerned about your attachment to me. You seemed happier without any company at all and I wanted to be with you all the time. You smiled to me, you held my hand, and you giggled when I tickled you, but your laugh was distant and I barely felt your grip. I missed you even when I held you in my arms.
Then you grew into beautiful teenager, you went to school and found new friends and I never mattered anymore; if I ever did at all. You treated our home more like a hotel; you showered and slept in it, but your chair at the dinner table was always empty. Every time I approached you, you immediately found a hundred different things to do and you would refuse to talk. You made me feel like I failed, like I did not deserve to be your mother. And I’ve tried to fix whatever was broken every day. You have never allowed me into your world.
I knew things were going really bad with you the last couple of months. I cried myself to sleep every night, going out of my mind to figure out a way to help you. I started getting phone calls from your school that you didn’t show up and I lied that you were sick yet again to keep you out of trouble. I discovered your bed empty a few nights and I was too afraid to confront you because I didn’t want to cause another argument. That was the only way of communication between us and nothing hurt me more than seeing you being upset.
My heart stopped when your father called me to tell me he found you unresponsive on the bathroom floor. As I was approaching the hospital I was terrified to find out what was waiting for me there. I was never so scared in my life. I dialed your father’s number 5 times but I was too afraid to talk. How did I ever let things go so out of control? You are my baby and I failed to take care of you.
The doctors told me it would take a miracle to bring you back to life. It would take a lifetime for me to recover. I love you more than life, my darling. I am so sorry for everything I did wrong. All I want is for you to come back. Don’t leave, sweetheart. Stay with me.
To my little angel,
It will be OK. I need you to hang in there for me. They can’t send me home for another month, but soon we will be playing tea party like we used to. All you need to do is hold on. Be strong! You are the most perfect daughter in the world, and I will never regret having you in my life. Whenever you feel pain, think of how I used to take you to the park. The doctors were wrong when they said you wont make it. I love you so much. I still have the teddy bear you gave me. He got a little dirty, but he’s a trooper just like you. I can’t wait to tell you about Afghanistan. The people there are amazing. I met a little girl there who was your age. She told me about her dolls, and can you believe she already has to work? I wish I could show you around the world. When you get better I can take you anywhere you want to go. I can take you to Hersey Pennsylvania. I will buy you all of the chocolate you can possibly eat. After that we can got to Canada or Spain. If I could do it all over than I would spend every waking moment with you. You are the most perfect daughter ever. Please wait for me. You are my world. You mean everything to me. Be strong. I love you.
I know this is going to be hard for you to hear, but this is my last request. I want to help you plan my funeral. I want roses as red as rubies sprinkled with babies breath as white as snow. I want to be holding them when you lower me into the ground. I’ve always liked the way they looked against my pale skin. I want piano music flowing as graceful as I once was. It should be happy and sweet, not dull and boring. Can you say an “Our Father” knowing that as you say it I will be speaking through you? It is so cruel that I will be buried in spring. You will have to watch new life begin as my story ends. I guess it is kind of bittersweet. I wish I could be given one more spring. Id like to see the baby birds in the nest on our house grow up and fly away one last time, but my time has run out. I wish I had appreciated my life a little more while I had the chance to live it. Please don’t let my death destroy you, instead, treat each day like it is your last. Run and jump in the streets even though you may look silly. I guess what I am asking is for you to live for me. I am so scared for the end, but I have to believe that there is something more meaningful out there. I hope God makes me an angel.
Ill watch over you always,
My sweetest baby girl,
You were wondering your entire life where was the man you could call your daddy and what happened to him. I promised your mommy long before you were born that I would always be there for you girls, that I would always look after you two. It was my biggest failure to break that promise.
At this moment you are the sweetest 2 year old I have ever seen, but it will take years for you to understand that letter. I never imagined being forced to say this words to you. You have no idea how many nights my actions hunted me and kept me awake. You will never know how much I regret what I did and how I wanted to turn back the time, so you would never have to read that letter.
I was sentenced to death for a crime that was the most stupid mistake I have ever made. I broke your mommy’s heart and I broke my promise to you to raise and take care of you. My baby girl, I want you to know that I love you and I will always be a part of your life. I will be watching down on you and I will make sure no one ever hurts my little girl.
Please, forgive me for my mistakes. Nothing hurt me more than to watch you walking away with your mommy for the very last time. You took the biggest part of my heart.
If I was there I would tell you how so very proud I am to be your father. I will always love you my sweetheart. Daddy will be always right next to you.
I love you,
My dear daughter,
I have always thought that I have known what a father would do for a daughter. Now I can say that I was dead wrong. Until I saw the sweet blue of your eyes and felt the soft touch of your tiny fingertips on my hand, I knew nothing of love. The most painful part of knowing that my journey on this earth is about to end is that I know that it will affect your life forever. I wont be there to take you to your first day of school. To be truthful, I selfishly wanted to feel you hesitate to let go of my hand when I walked you through the doors on your first day. I wont get to see you walk down the steps in your prom dress, or take you driving for the first time in an empty parking lot. I wont get to walk you down the aisle or give a toast on your wedding day. I wont be able to help you fix the plumbing, or install a ceiling fan when you get your first home. I am being robbed of the hundreds of moments that I could have shared with you. Although you may have only known me for what is looking like a few months, know that I love you more than anything, and although I cannot be physically there with you, I will always be there in your heart edging you on to make a choice out of passion, not logic. Life is too short to do something that will not make you happy, believe me. I could spend a lifetime writing to you, but it is getting late, and my arm is getting weak.
Love with all of my being,
I really hope you never have to read this letter. But I’m gonna write it just in case. I know the doctors are doing the best they can, and Nurse Holiday is always telling me to be positive and I am momma, I’m positive of a lot of things. I’m positive you’re the best mom anybody could ever ask for. And I’m positive daddy loved me, even if it wasn’t enough to stay with us and watch me grow up. I’m positive purple is my favorite color so thanks for getting me this purple head scarf that I can wear on Chemo days to make me feel braver than I am. And I guess I’m a little bit positive I’m never gonna see my eleventh birthday. I hope I’m wrong on that one. There’s a lot of things I haven’t got the chance to do or see yet mom, but more than anything I hope I’m wrong for your sake. I’m sorry you spent your whole life worrying about me. Maybe, after I’m gone, if I do go, you’ll be able to have some fun for a change. Don’t miss me too badly mommy, and I’ll try not to be too positive of that last one.
Can you please tell Grady from the fourth floor that I think his blue cast is stupid but that I hope his arm gets better anyway. And tell Mr. Rowland that this is my absolute favorite kids hospital because it’s got the awesomest play room of all of them and I know it helps a lot of the kids feel better. Give Marcy my green teddy bear with the overalls, she really wants one but her mom can’t afford it for her. Promise me you’ll let Bobby’s daddy take you to dinner mom, I like him a lot. I guess that’s it mommy. I know this is the last treatment they can give me if they can’t find a donor match and that’s ok. It’s all gonna be ok. I’m positive about that.
I love you thiiiiiiiiiiis much momma,
Life as a 21 year old is exciting even for someone that can’t walk. You made it so pleasurable and joyful for me, it made my disability seem like a joke. Only you knew how terrified I was to find out soon I’d be losing my muscle strength and I’d never be able to regain it. But you didn’t give up on me and you gave me 5 amazing years of a life that everyone dreams of. Mom, I am so grateful for this. No words can ever be enough to thank you.
You knew it all slowly comes down to an end. I know I am your bigger fear. But mommy, you don’t have to worry. I am not afraid anymore. You showed me how to enjoy life. You made all my fears go away. I’ve had a full life. I cannot complain that this journey ends like this.
When the day comes, I know you’ll be crashed. I know that with this day all of your worst nightmares will come true. But mom, you have to know that I am ok with dying. If I knew better way to tell you this, I would. You never wanted this for me but it will be truly a relief. I am almost too tired to take my breath now. I can barely raise my hand to take the hair out of my face. I fought this long enough. I am ready to go now.
This time you have to be strong for yourself. I’ll stay among the walls of your heart, always. I am excited and happy for the next journey to come. Please, share this feeling with me! It will set you free.
I love you, mommy. You take a good care of yourself. You deserve a happy life, too.
Your baby girl,