An open letter to the killer of Samantha B. If you’re somehow able to read this wherever you are now, know that I will find you.

No father should have to watch their child lowered into the sacred silence of the earth. I don’t know if there is a right age to die, but I do know it isn’t seventeen. Better at birth before eyes had filled with light and I had learned to love so deeply. Better late into old age when life’s fleeting joys had been more than tasted. Better not at all, but a world where prayers are answered is a world where they’re not needed: a world that isn’t ours.

All the hours I spent playing on the floor were wasted. All the faces and bad jokes I made to get a smile, all the music I played to inspire a song or the books I read to inspire a dream: all wasted. I thought that was all it took to make me a good parent, but I was wrong. I invested my entire life into this single purpose, but everything I had to give was not enough. I wasn’t there when I was needed most, and nothing I have ever done or could ever do can change that.

The police found the knife you did it with in the woods where you dropped it. It was a slow death, they told me, but passing out would have avoided most of the pain. I wonder if you regretted it as soon as your blade entered the skin. Did you mean for it to dig so deep? Did you panic when the blood wouldn’t stop? Did you call for help, or struggle in vain to bandage the wound, or were you too ashamed? I wonder if you planned the kill at all, or whether time was flying too fast and your blood pounding too loud and you didn’t know how to make it stop until it was too late.

Were you thinking of anyone but yourself when you did it? I don’t know what private torment brought you to this point, but taking a life will never cease that pain. The pain is passed from one person to the next, enduring past life, past death, past mortal strength to bear. Until the day long after you’re gone when the next victim sees the sun dawn without light or warmth and all sounds and colors bleed into an endless grey. And then that sun too will set, passing on your pain once again.

You must think that I hate you. I don’t think anyone would blame me if I did. I hate that you destroyed my family, but I forgive you for everything. You may not believe me, but I promise it’s true. It’s everything about this world that made you into someone capable of such an act that I will never forgive.

I still don’t know why you killed yourself, Samantha. If you’re somehow able to read this though, know that I will find you. And somehow, someday,¬†we’ll be together again.

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