The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us. It has been called the great leveller; a zoonotic virus affecting everyone regardless of nationality, gender, religion, race and class. Social distancing has pulled us away from one another and yet, people are finding new ways to reach out. For everyone who has been asking how I’m getting through this global crisis, personally I’m doing OK.
At my job, I act as a lifeline to women and children. Victims of domestic abuse, survivors of rape and teens struggling with mental illness. I also run a support group for friends to give them a safe space to talk. I’ve been asking my clients and friends to write letters to loved ones, as a counselling technique. It’s an initiative that has been taken up with quite a lot of enthusiasm. What started as a therapeutic strategy, has become a project to encourage healing, solidarity and goodwill. Many of you have written letters to loved ones, some to those you’ve lost, some to those who hurt you and some to those you could never find the rights words to say. Many of you have asked me to publish those letters, anonymously, and I hope that seeing these words up here will bring you solace. Even though you could never say these words to those you love deeply, I hope you realise that it is the only thing right now that is keeping us alive.
These are letters to parents, to friends, to siblings, to partners, to strangers and to anyone that you have loved but never truly been able to tell. Every week, a letter will be published on this blog, anonymously, with the hope that whoever reads it is able to feel that powerful connection between two human beings.
It is this connection that we are learning to cherish most right now. A bottle of sanitiser from a neighbour, an email from a coworker, a video call with the parents, a hug from the kids, a kiss from a partner, a cheerful wave from a grocery clerk, a text from a friend- we are all looking for those little connections that give us meaning, that tell us that we can make it through this.
These letters are not just about love, they are about grief, separation and pain but also gratitude, forgiveness and compassion. If you want to submit a letter, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “All The Things I Could Never Say” and be sure that it will be published here while keeping your confidence and protecting your privacy. If you have any doubts, you can ask my friends. They say I’m a good secret-keeper.
Hope these letters brighten up your day!