April 21, 2016

Dear Mr. Walter,

It was great to hear back from you. I certainly was not expecting a reply.

I realized that I didn’t tell you my name in my initial letter. My name is Timothy F. Nash.

I was hoping that you would write back because of your interest in letters. It seems to be a dying art, making way for email and text messaging. It is much easier and quicker to communicate with other people these days. I really enjoy handwritten letters, too.

I’m not sure that I agree with you about the difference between “passing” and “dying”. To me, saying that someone has passed is euphemistic, lessening the finality that death is. This is probably because we, the living, are terrified of death. We seem to do whatever we can to stave it off, and avoid the topic like the plague.

I like to think that I live with death in full view. I am afraid of dying, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it or talking about it. In fact, I think that I have a slight obsession with death. My own, anyway.

When I was younger, I used to wish that I would die by my 21st birthday. I used to think that I would experience everything that I would ever need to before I turned 21.

To be honest, I’m not sure what I’ve done with the last six years that makes them valuable. I guess, I would never have met K—, but that’s over now, anyway. I mean, if I hadn’t made it past 21, I wouldn’t have known that K— even existed. It was never going to work between us, no matter how hard we tried. I don’t miss her as much as I miss M—, who I knew before I was 21.

M— was all the love that I needed to experience to know that true beauty exists in the world. My love for K— was more practical and sensible. She was really good to and for me. I broke it off with her because only my friends thought she was wrong for me. Loving K— was too easy, and didn’t take enough work.

At 27, I don’t have much to show for my life. Even my passion and energy for life is waning. This may be why I write letters to people who have obituaries written about them.

Did you have similar feelings and thoughts about your life? If you did, how did you deal with them?

I hope you received the clipping of your obituary.

I am looking forward to hearing back from you, Mr. Walter.

T—

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