Pneumonia took the young life of 12-year-old Taylor Smith on January 5, 2014. It was a sudden death that occurred due to unexpected complications. Tim and Mary Ellen Smith, her parents from Johnson City, Tennessee, were grief-stricken.
Taylor had written a letter to her future self before she passed away.
The process we often call ‘tidying up affairs’ after a person dies is in no way indicative of what that reality is actually like. Just ask Taylor’s parents. They knew, but had forgotten, that Taylor had written herself a letter, addressing her as the future 22-year-old woman that she would be.
“She had told me that she had written a letter, and she was excited that she was going to open it when she was older,” Mary told the Today Show in an interview.
The girl’s parents found the letter.
As Taylor’s parents sorted through her belongings, they came across that letter. Sealed in an envelope, the note Taylor had intended to read in the year 2023, was a wonderful but painful reminder of the bright, creative, and intelligent little girl they had lost.
“It was definitely a reminder of who she was, and who she had become,” said Tim.
She had a lot to tell herself in the year 2023.
The thoughtful letter written by Taylor included her dreams; her goals and her thoughts about life and what she wanted to remind herself of when she became an adult.
One short excerpt from the beginning of the letter is Taylor giving her older self encouragement to get her high school degree if she hadn’t yet. She wrote, “If you didn’t go back and keep trying. Get that degree!”
Her parents shared what she wrote and it went viral.
Her parents made the decision to share that letter on social media, an honorary homage for family and friends, and hopefully an inspiration to others to help them deal with their own grief in times of loss. That single decision was followed by a flood of messages in reply to the post, which went viral.
Mary said, “[We received] letters from lots of parents who said it had encouraged them to love their kids and love each other.”
She left a legacy of inspiration.
Mary struggles knowing that she can’t bring her daughter back, but said emotionally:
“I am so grateful that people have been inspired by her story.”
“I just want the world to know what an awesome, awesome person she was,” said her dad.
The following is the full letter that Taylor had written for herself at the time (but as it turns out, she wrote it for you, too):
How’s life? Life is pretty simple right now (10 years in your past). I know I’m late for you, but as I’m writing, this is early, so; congratulations on graduating high school! If you didn’t go back and keep trying. Get that degree! Are you (we) in college? If not, I understand. We do have pretty good reasoning, after all.
Don’t forget, it’s Allana’s 11th birthday today! Sheesh, 11 already? In my time, she just turned 1! I didn’t get to go to that party though, because I was in Cranks, Kentucky for my first mission trip. I’ve only been back for 6 days!
Speaking of, how’s your relationship with GOD? Have you prayed, worshipped, read the bible, or gone to serve the lord recently? If not, get up and do so NOW! I don’t care what point in our life we’re in right now, do it! He was mocked, beaten, tortured, and crucified for you! A sinless man, who never did you or any other person any wrong!
Now, have you gone on any more mission trips? Have you been out of the country yet? How about on a plane?
Is Doctor Who still on the air? If not, what regeneration did they end it with? You should go watch some Doctor Who! Later though, you gotta finish reading your own words of wisdom!
Do you have your own place yet? If we’re in college, what are we majoring in? Right now, I wanna be a lawyer.
Have you been to Dollywood recently? Right now, their newest attraction is the Wild Eagle. It’s so fun!
Also I think I’m going to sell my iPad and buy an iPad mini, Don’t forget to tell your kids that we’re older than the tablet! Attached I also have a drawing of an iPad, so you can show them.
Well, I think that’s all. But remember, it’s been 10 years since I wrote this. Stuff has happened, good and bad. That’s just how life works, and you have to go with it.
Source: Do not open until 2023: Deceased girl’s letter to her future self goes viral from The Today Show and Daughter Dies Suddenly, Then Grieving Parents Find A Secret Letter She Wrote To Herself from Little Things and Deceased girl’s letter to her future self goes viral by BuzzNewsNow on YouTube.