Presented on International Women’s Day 

At the Africaide 4W Celebration of the International Day of the Girl

October 9, 2021

Letter to a Girl —

There are so many girls to write to in our big, wonderful world. It’s a world that needs our care. But today I am writing to you, the girl who has lost someone to death. Maybe it was COVID19, war or. cancer. Or may be it was some unimaginable absurd preventable thing, some big “if not for” that you are living with. Or maybe it was simply the end of a long life well-lived. 

When we lose someone we love, we always lose a particular kind of love along with that – mother love, father love, grandmother, love, grandfather love, the love of a sister, or brother or friend. Yes, love is love – but each kind is unique too.  With the loss we face the truth that a person we cared for deeply must let go of having more life – life they wanted – and we have to carry on without the particular kind of love that they gave us. Sometimes, it feels like it will never come again.

But is it really lost? I want to be honest here, so I will say yes, and also no. Yes, because you can’t see them or hold them or touch them in real time the way you used to. That is something to grieve. But also no… because they are not really gone. 

If they’re not gone, then where are they? Well, they are in you for one thing. Maybe you have their eyes, or their laugh. Or maybe you are blessed with a wonderful dream where they visit you and give you a message…. something you needed to know, or something you wanted to hear them say one more time. There are also with you in the things they taught you … to throw a ball, make a tortilla, play the piano, plant a seed. They gave you all kinds of reasons to love and forgive. And these reasons still stand. 

I hope you know you are loved and loveable just as you are. Especially when the noise of life can confuse that question.

I’m here, unknow and far away, caring somehow. Are you cold, hot, tired, lonely? Are you singing, working, laughing, hoping? I’m not sure. 

But I do believe that there is a gentle wind that connects us all. It carries birds and butterflies, and, arguably, light and hope. 

,Wherever you are I hope you feel that wind, and that it touches you with the love that you lost. I hope it touches you today, maybe even now.  Some remembrance, a sign, a gentle breeze — a warm one if you’re cold, and a cool one of you’re hot.

I hope that breeze touches you deeply, and you feel sure of the love that it carries.

With love,