Dearest Tess, 

Remember writing this in your diary a few months before you left? 

Do you ever wonder when you look at the sky at night that
there is a planet out there just like ours?
And you are just like
you. And you are actually looking back at yourself in this world.
Imagine that. A mirror reaction.
Is everything backwards in the other world?

Oh, my love, how I wonder.  I wonder whether this other me is holding you in her arms and seeing you reflected in mine though I cannot feel or see you.  On the other planet – where the other me takes you shopping for clothes to wear to high school, football games and proms    snaps pictures of you with your dates, helps you with your homework, listens to your heartaches and tries to comfort, tours colleges with you until you find just what you want and leave home, though calling frequently to catch me up.  

Where the other me is there with you at your wedding, fusses over and reassures you through your pregnancy and then falls head over heels in love with your beautiful, healthy baby.   Where the other me is there with you as you glide up the stairs to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Medal of Honor, the Pulitzer Prize, the Academy, Grammy and Mother Teresa Awards.    

Where the other me can hear the way your laughter breaks like a rainforest of leaves, inhale your scent of sweetest wild grass and see life and all its possibilities unfold in your eyes.

No, my love.  Everything is backwards in this world where I cannot find you.  And I am not just like the other me, on that other planet, though I can see the sky and the night that holds me with and without you.  

Angel of delivery
Guide my journey
Angel of doubt
Bring me knowing
Angel of dance
show me my steps
angel of dark
shine in moonlight
angel of destruction
seed my new life
angel of despair
lift me dreaming
Angel of death
Carry me home
Oh Holy Angel
Please hear my prayer.


Laura Gonsalves is a retired attorney and is currently writing a memoir of her daughter Tristesse (“Tess”). When Tess died from cancer at age 14, Laura co-founded The Tristesse Grief Center in Tess’ honor to help those who know the devastation of loss, the challenges of grief and the hope of healing. The Grief Center offers professional bereavement counseling to children and adults and is in its 17th year of non-profit service to the Tulsa, Oklahoma and surrounding communities.




This story was written in Write Your Grief Story workshops, an intimate and supportive online writing group. Want to write your grief story?





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