I think it was way too late for me that National Bookstore decided to carry Love Letters to the Dead, because the moment they announced that they are selling the hard-bound copy, I’ve already started a few pages on my eBook.
Love Letters to the Dead is not a book you would pick up and bring with you to a vacation. It’s most likely the one that you would pick up in the middle of an insomniac night, then start contemplating with yourself – are there things that you could’ve told someone but you just couldn’t, and decided to just put it in writing instead? That was me, for a very long time. Putting my thoughts and my feelings into words in a notebook, until it ended up in the wrong hands. So anyway, Laurel’s kind of truth is very much complicated, as it involves the suicide of her beloved sister that she can’t quite get over, and about herself and the sensitivity of it. I was able to understand her feeling of being torn between telling her new friends about her past, or just create a new life all together, leaving the hurt and the bitterness of her old life behind. It’s quite difficult when, you finally found this sense of belongingness that you’ve always longed for, and you finally know where you stood, only to be haunted by the images of the memories that could somehow ruin the present comfort that you managed to create all this time. Laurel was scared of telling her new friends, Natalie and Hannah, and her boyfriend, Sky, the truth behind her sister’s death. What if they leave her, and she’s left by herself again? She has already been caught in this idea that her Mom already left, because she was to blame of her sister’s death, the fact that she saw everything.
And so she started writing these letters to the dead, which really started out as an assignment in English. There she pours her heart out, writing all the things she could have said to her parents, to her friends and to Sky. In the end, she gave herself the chance to speak to them at last, when the truth was already suffocating her. I should say, she also gave these people the chance to prove themselves to be worthy of her friendship. It turned out that all of them got something to say, and everyone has already been burdened by each other’s truth that they could no longer seem to bear.
I always find it very comforting to speak about what I feel, if only to free myself of the heavy load of an uneasy feeling. Especially when I find out that I have unburdened myself to the right person. But of course, it’s not always easy to tell if the one I’m speaking with is the right person. Because, sometimes, just when I wanted to be heard, the other person would start telling me what to do, and feel sorry for me, which only confirms that I really am going through something bad.
But then I am still glad, because I know another dialogue that would make me feel better. The kind of communication where I don’t have to talk a lot, I don’t have to spend money calling overseas, and where I could cry my heart out without worrying if I look like a complete idiot. PRAYER.