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Article: A Letter to a Loved One: Elvis

A Letter to a Loved One: Elvis


Dear Pops,

A lot has happened since your heart stopped. The blood on the dash isn’t the only blood that I spot. Can you ever get over the guilt? Conscience can’t get past my actions. Hands stained with blood sister night that you were killed. And to me… you were really killed. Not by the other driver or that liquor in your system, but simply by the fact that — You’re eldest son was really missing. 

Broken promises, well-wishing.

Now I’m here well… Wishing. 

Wishing I could go back to make a few things different. 

Wishing I could go back to take away your pain from you. 

Wishing I could go back to say what I need to say to you. 

But now you’re gone and I’m left to carry this pain for you.


But why did you get a babysitter when you were always home? Did you not want to spend time with your firstborn. And after she’d take me to my room to show me what boyfriends do. You’d still always find a reason to beat me black and blue. I remember feeling the outline of your handprint on my face for days. Not really like my teachers gave a fuck anyway.


Hot & cold, hot & cold

Our relationship was always so hot & cold. Why did you throw me in the shower though? Kept alternating from hot & cold. More than five minutes until my mom came home. What did I do to deserve that though? You do realize I was just seven years old. You do realize I was just seven years old!

Your expectations were always so unattainably high. No matter how hard I tried I could never be that guy.  And if I’m truly being honest, I really hated you sometimes. Graduated with honors. Even join the army for you. And like with everything else I do I never felt like enough. 

Did I ever make you proud?

Well I just want you to know that I’m trying to be happy now. 

And no matter what our past, I always felt love when you came around 

And no matter all this pain, I wouldn’t change shit or ever take you out

My life would never be this if it weren’t for your sacrifice. And I’d never be ME, if it weren’t for this crazy life.

Not sure if I ever made you proud but I sure am proud to be your child. Mental health is never easy and I wish I could’ve helped you through your journey but I’m taking these steps now that no one told you, to push past the trauma & pain and learn to get through what this cruel ass world has done unto you. I hope you’re sitting on your cloud drinking a beer to just know that I forgive and will always love you.


Elvis Ndayishimiye


Thank you to Elvis for sharing and being a part of opening up the conversation around grief. If you would like to share a letter please email

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