Dear Mrs. Miller

Dear Mrs. Miller,
It’s hard to know what to say when a teacher dies.
In case you didn’t know, I’m a little emotionally stunted so that makes this even harder.
I- I was not well-liked in Wyoming. I was a topic of controversy, the queer kid. Sure, people knew who I was, but most of my time in high school people talked about me or at me. People didn’t talk to me.
As time went on, I found my role in the high school dynamic. I was the kid who was too big for the small town he was born in. I knew I’d leave Wyoming, OH behind me, but in the meantime, I had to find a way to survive there.
You were part of that reason I survived. You talked to me. You listened when you had absolutely no reason to at all. I was never your student yet everyday, you greeted me with a smile and the most sincere “how are you?”
Like I said, I’m a pretty emotionally messed-up guy. I’m not great at expressing them or even showing them. When I heard that you passed, I was at work. I went to the bathroom and cried in a stall for five minutes. Please know that your passing means so much more to me than a quiet cry in a bar bathroom, but for me, that was big. I’m not much of a crier, these days or ever really, so those tears meant something. Unfortunately, that’s all I can give right now.
Sincerely,
Calhoun

Dear Sydney

Disclaimer: This post is one of my more serious attempts. If you’re uncomfortable with sincere displays of emotion (as I usually am) stop reading now.

Dear Sydney,
It’s been 7 years, but I still remember how everything happened.
I remember my dad driving me to the hospital. I remember people crying. I remember adults desperately trying to make sense of a seemingly senseless tragedy.
But most importantly, I remember the grief counseling. I was always a little hesitant when it came to that sort of stuff. I figured, “just let me be pissed off and do my thing,” but I think we all know that only works for so long.
They always told us, “write a letter to the loved one that you lost. It’ll make you feel better.”
To me it seemed as empty of a gesture as praying, but with time, comes some semblance of growth.
I’m not saying I’m mature by any means. Hell, you know me, that’ll probably never happen.
But I’m giving this letter writing thing a try. And hey, it only took me 7 years, right?
Anyways, you remain one of the most loving and well-loved figures in my 24 years of life and I just wanted to let you know that I think of you still.
Sincerely,
Calhoun