It was an unspeakable sadness to lose Stephen, killed in police custody, and Mom and Dad so negligent that they sent Lizzie to identify his body at the morgue. You wouldn’t let her go alone, you went with her. A 21 year old and a 16 year old. Unbelievable.I know how scared you were to sit in that police station while Lizzie went downstairs, and you were surrounded by those policemen who didnt say one word and wouldn’t look at you. “Will they kill me too?” you thought.
When you went back to school only 1 teacher came up to you and told you how sorry he was about Stephen. Your friends didn’t talk about it at all; it was a shameful thing to hide away. Mom and Dad retreated even further into their own worlds and you were left to finish raising yourself.
I want to tell you that I’m proud of you, for the choices you made back then. To stay in school. To not become sexually active before you were an adult. To stay away from drugs. You were vice president of your senior class, and voted most talkative, did most for the class, and most school spirited. you threw yourself into school activities–color guard, girls service club, choir and musicals. Things will get harder before they get better, sweetie. Dad died 2 years after Stephen in your senior year. But you carried on, as best you could. if family life was in shambles, at least school could hold some promise of a better world. and you made that happen, Jennifer.
I want to tell you to go into counseling now, and stay there. Ask a guidance counselor to help you. you need to express your fear, anger, hurt and grief. if you can do that now, you will save yourself anxiety years from now.
I want to tell you I love you. You have always been a good hearted person and you deserve to be loved and cherished. Its not your fault Stephen died, or Dad. It’s hard to outlive a sibling. It’s hard to lose someone to violence. Its hard to be neglected by one’s parents. Hang in there. you have a beautiful spirit and creativity that is rare. believe in yourself. don’t be afraid to follow your most secret desires when you get to college. try acting. try writing. live in London or Paris. dont worry about your student loans so much. if you take a job that pays nothing that you love you will end up paying your student loans off eventually.
Fly. Your wings are stronger than you think.