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Cameron: A letter to my younger self – a journey through grief and growth

Cameron: A letter to my younger self – a journey through grief and growth

Home » Stories » Cameron: A letter to my younger self – a journey through grief and growth
Photo of Cameron, a young man with glasses and brown hair

Written by Cameron

Dear Cameron,

I hope this letter finds you well, although I know that’s not likely. I am writing to you from the future, five years from now. I remember this time in your life so vividly – the unimaginable pain you’re going through, the raw and all-encompassing grief that has taken over every part of your being.

It’s been four years since your dad passed away, and I know it still feels like yesterday. The pain has become a part of you, but you’ve learned to live with it.

But I also know that’s not what’s weighing on your mind right now. You’ve just lost your mum and sister. They were taken from you suddenly, leaving behind a gaping hole in your life that seems impossible to fill. Your grandparents have taken you in, and while they’re doing their best to be there for you, you feel lost and alone.

I wish I could reach through time and give you a hug. I wish I could tell you that everything will be okay, that the pain will subside, and that you’ll find your way through this darkness. But I know that’s not what you need to hear right now.

Instead, let me offer you some advice that might help you navigate this difficult time:

Let your friends be there for you.

They’ve not experienced this pain before, but they want to help. They care about you deeply, and they’re doing their best to show you that. Let them in. Let them help you carry this heavy burden. You don’t have to do this alone.

Keep up your routine.

I know how hard it is to get out of bed in the morning, to face the day ahead, but I promise you, it’s worth it. Even the smallest steps – taking a shower, getting dressed, going for a walk – will make a difference. They’ll remind you that you’re still alive, still fighting, still here.

Let the grief shape you in your own way.

Don’t let anyone else tell you how to feel or how to cope. This is your journey, and you get to choose how you want to walk it. It’s okay to feel angry, sad, lost, and confused. But don’t let those emotions consume you. Use your emotions to create rather than destroy – a hammer can be used to break a table or to build a house, it’s up to you which way you direct it.

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I want you to know that you have so much to look forward to. In a few days, someone will give you a very unexpected gift. This summer, you’ll work on a building project with your friend, and it will bring you closer together than ever before. And, however much you don’t want to go, make sure you go to that party in September and talk to the girl who sits next to you – spoiler alert, she’s now your wife! You won’t believe how much your life will change in the next five years – I wish you could see where you are now! Running your own IT company and living in a beautiful part of the country with the most supportive and loving wife.

Keep going, you can do it. You don’t realise it just yet, but you’re an inspiration for so many people. Nobody expected you to carry on, to push through, but you do and you’re stronger for it now. Remember to treat others how you want to be treated and be the friend you want to have, and you’ll gain friends closer than brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers.

Cameron, I’m so proud of you. Keep going, one step at a time. I’ll be here waiting for you, five years in the future, cheering you on every step of the way.

With all my love,

Future You.

How to get help

If you’re struggling with grief right now, Winston’s Wish is here to help and here to listen. Winston’s Wish provides support for grieving children and young people (up to the age of 25). We offer one-to-one and group support sessions. We also have lots of online resources and a Helpline and email service where you can talk to bereavement professionals.

You can call us for free on 08088 020 021 (open 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday), email ask@winstonswish.org or use our live chat (open 3-8pm, Monday to Friday) and find out more on our Get Support page.

If you need urgent support in a crisis, you can contact the 24/7 Winston’s Wish Crisis Messenger by texting WW to 85258.