• Dear Grandpa

    Dear Grandpa,
    It’s been 11 years snice you’ve gone. I can still remember the night being so peaceful, so still, and so cold. I remember the day we laid you to rest. The snowflakes that fell that day were the biggest ones I’ve ever seen. I wanted to be one of the few who go to carry you to your final resting place, but I watched instead as my brother, cousin, brother in law, and a few others carried you instead.

    I’ll never forget when my 18th birthday rolled around and I eagerly went to the gas station and bought a can of your grizzly wintergreen chewing tobacco. I took it to you grave and had lunch with you. The sun was shining and I was happy enough even though you weren’t with me anymore.

    You were my best friend. The amount of days I skipped school just to hang out with you nearly cost me my graduation. The people at school frowned upon the week I missed when you passed. Said I shouldn’t have been gone that long and that I needed to be there from then on. What was I supposed to say? Grief has no time limit and I wasn’t capable of dragging myself out of bed to go be around people who never understood me. You always did though.

    I wonder what you would think of me now. Would you still be proud of me? Would you still be able to sit in silence with me and just watch the tv? Would you still be able to look me in the eyes and tell me everything was going to be ok? You were my safe place in this world and even though it has been 11 years my heart still hurts. I yearn to hear your laugh, see your smile, and feel the warmth of your hugs.

    I love and miss you so much, Grandpa.


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    • Awww Courtney! This is so sweet. Your grandpa is definitely proud of you and definitely still watching over you.

      My grandpa died when I was 13. We have the same personality and we are the only two people in our family that are very athletic – so I know I got it from him. When I was younger he would tell me rain was good luck. So after he died,…read more

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  • Feel Alive

    Dear Unsealers,

    Someone once said in an interview that in order to have good mental health you should do something that makes you feel alive. Not just one day, but every day for every month. I found that answer kinda beautiful: not only because I could relate to it, but also because it’s one thing to exist in this life and it’s another to live it. You may be wondering what this has to do with nearly giving up on something you love, but I feel like the answer is fairly obvious: how can you ever be successful if you can’t even love yourself?

    That’s a question that’s haunted me for years. I’ve always wanted to be a famous author, to work on movies and TV shows, and maybe even make a video game. I always thought I had what it took to accomplish these things, but my mental health began to set me back further and further. On the night of November 13th, 2023, my life was permanently changed. I didn’t know it then, but my anxiety was going to start crippling me: the right side of my body going numb as I struggled to move it, or taking my voice and locking it behind a failing mouth. It’s amazing how our mental health can transform our bodies into something unrecognizable – a scary new that you wouldn’t think possible, and yet somehow remain the same empty shell. I’ve been trying to nurture that empty shell into a human again, but it’s super hard once you let your body and brain give up on you. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it to fight everyday in hopes of being better.

    Life isn’t easy. It’s actually the hardest thing we’ll ever do. I want to say that you’re going to be alright and that your goals, ambition, and hard work will pay off, but in reality you’ll never be successful until you can love every inch of yourself. Don’t be afraid to look in the mirror and point out the things you love about yourself. Don’t be afraid to go out into the world while being too big or even too small. Learn to love yourself now and celebrate your wins, your losses, your achievements, your failures, and your flaws. If you can love yourself through anything, then you’ll be successful in everything. Every day, do something that makes you feel alive. Do it every day of every month.

    I still plan to accomplish my goals of writing, filmmaking, and video game development. I still dream of the day that my name is out there and people are reading my books, watching movies I’ve been a part of, and playing games I’ve written storylines for. I hope that those of you who are reading this can one day join me in celebrating the life we’ve all worked hard to accomplish, and then maybe we can look each other in the eyes and know that we fought for our right to love ourselves no matter what others think or the setbacks we’ve faced. This is to self love. A powerful feeling that can take you past the stars, past the moon, and to somewhere far greater.

    Courtney Fry

    Voting starts May 16, 2024 12:00am

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