When sitting down and wondering what to write about for this week’s blogging, I thought of something I drafted a couple months back. The subject matter: a letter to me from my cousin. Simple right? Well, the thing is, my cousin has been dead for 5 years and the letter was written in 2008. In truth, I wrote the letter . . . but did I? That fundamental question sparked random thoughts on writing, spirituality, inspiration, and healing. I figured that, if anything, it would make for an interesting conversation and put my after-thoughts on paper. I want to post this short, reflective essay as it was, and state beforehand that the goal is not to push my religious views (even though I don’t think I come off too strong): it’s just a subject matter I find interesting.
So, here goes:
If you’ve ever read Richard Matheson’s What Dreams May Come (and if you haven’t, you should), then you may recall what could have been meant to be a small plot point, yet stuck out forever in my memory. In the book, it was stated that some of the world’s greatest writers were directly inspired by spirits transmitting ideas from ‘heaven.’ My memory gets fuzzy on the specifics, but it struck a cord because if the type of heaven that this book outlines really does exist, would one of its spirits connect with a writer’s imagination to put that existence on paper? I.E., could this book be a hint on what the afterlife is like?
Of course, I don’t have the answer for you. And, to be honest, it was more of a fleeting thought that arises from time to time on those lazy, thoughtful days rather than something I struggle with constantly. But one day, February 7, 2008, this concept popped back up quite unexpectedly and merged with the memory of my cousin who was shot dead 5 years ago. So I decided to write a letter. And it would be from my cousin, to me. I tried to just write without thinking and wondered if maybe his spirit would humor me.
I knew I needed some kind of background before I posted this piece, and there it is. With this letter, I don’t know if I achieved my goal, but I like to think that some of my cousin’s voice is in here, whether it’s from that part of him that still lives inside me or directly from his heavenly spirit. I will say, though, that I used voice recognition software to ‘type’ this up (call me lazy) and I decided on a whim to add a word to a sentence, to make it sound better, I guess, and the voice recognition didn’t catch it. It posted the sentence just like I have it written on the page. Probably coincidence. Maybe not. Either way, here is what my hand wrote some 17 months ago. Author unknown.
I’m not going to ask you how you’ve been because I’ve been watching, looking over, and I already know. Hang in there and keep doing what you’re doing, as I know you will. Well, enough of that nerdy stuff. I just wanted to get the boring stuff out the way first.
It’ll be about four years this summer. Time goes by, doesn’t it. I know you’ve been hurting since, but you can’t show that shit. You gotta be a man, I know I taught you better than that. Besides, the world was no place for me anyway. We didn’t fit. I’m glad to be out. I do miss you, though, cuz.
You probably wondering. But it wasn’t painful. It surprised me, but I hardly felt it. And I couldn’t go out like no punk. I just kind of fell away. You’d have been proud.
Remember Halo, cuz? “Dumb ass Marines!” Haha. Never thought I’d hear you curse. I see you still play. That’s good. You still behind on your gaming, though. I know school is important and all but that is too. To remember me at least.
Remember I told you I’d do anything for you? I meant that. I still would, if I could. I can still watch over. You’ll never be alone, just remember me. All joking and games aside, though, I need you to do something for me. Never forget. Never give up on the path you’ve chosen. I chose mine and paid the price. I’d give anything to have taken yours. You are my inspiration. And still are.
Tell Aunt Pam I said hi. And I’m okay. It’s nice up here. Yes, nigga, I said up here. God let me in. Much better than where I was in life and I don’t have to prove I’m a man.
Take care of yourself and Aunt Pam. Y’all took care me. I love you, cuz.
So what’s the point of putting this admittedly personal piece on a writing website? Because I took something I love to do and used it to relieve some of life’s pain. It exemplifies the power behind writing, even if it is just my own irrational hope that some divine inspiration pushed my hand.
But to answer the question, it’s really simple: I think some of you will find value in this, so why not share?