Dear Jeannette

I don’t think I will ever get over that day, May 1, 2006. It is the day I lost a piece of my heart, a piece of myself. Why did you have to die in that car accident? Why do these things have to happen? It’s not fair that I had to lose you that day. You were someone so special to me.

I don’t remember that horrible day so much. I was in kindergarten. So I was too young, or I blocked it all out. I’m not sure. I don’t really want to remember that day. I recall my parents picking me up from school early and then sitting at my kitchen table. Then I remember them telling me the worst thing they could have ever said to me. The rest is a blur.

It changed my life in an instant. You were my best friend and cousin. You made me laugh. You dressed me up in costumes and took my picture. You fed me stuff my mom wouldn’t let me have, like soda and candy. And you made me feel so good about myself. Then you were gone…forever. And things changed forever. It’s just not fair. You should never have died.
I can’t explain how much I miss you. I can’t seem to get the words out of my heart and onto this paper. It hurts me so bad! Life without you is just not the same. Sometimes I feel so sad and lonely. I lost the confidence you instilled in me because I don’t remember what it feels like to be completely happy with myself. Why should I be happy? You aren’t here. I sure don’t feel like that same happy six year old who felt like a princess when you were around. I am heartbroken. I am lost. I am sad without you.

You were like my big sister and I miss you more and more as I get older. I’m a teenager now and I need you more than ever. I need my best friend. It’s been almost seven years and it still hurts that you’re gone. I don’t think it will ever get easier, but I know I can’t bring you back even though I would give anything for that to happen.

I’m so mad that you’re not here to paint my nails, pick out my clothes, and talk with me about girly things. I’m angry that you won’t be here to see me graduate. I’m mad that you won’t see me go on my first date. I wish you could be here to give me advice on life and friends. You were supposed to be here for these things.

I know you’re always with me in spirit, but I wish I could see you, talk to you, and laugh with you like we used to. I hope you hear me when I tell you my thoughts and fears and problems. I hope that you’ll listen when I finally let out my feelings. I hope that you smile when you see me from heaven. I hope that you see that I’m growing up. I hope that I make you proud. Help me to be more like you. Help me to be confident and fun-loving and full of life like I remember you. Help me to allow myself to be happy without you. Help me to be strong.

I believe that things happen for a reason. I believe that you will guide me. I believe that you’re in heaven. I believe that you’re happy. I believe in angels, Jeannette, and I believe that you’re mine.


Taressa Belle Toto is in 7th grade at Visitation BVM School in Norristown, Pennsylvania. She plays volleyball, basketball, and softball. Taressa lives with her mom and dad, her sister Ava, and her dog Snickers.