I haven’t written a letter in a while, there was that one time when I wrote a letter to my past self (like my 13 y/o self I think), but this time I want to write a letter to a fictional character – Theodore Finch of ‘All the Bright Places’ by Jennifer Niven. I’ve spent all day thinking about who I should write the letter to: my crush, my fears, my future self? But then, just a few moments ago, I realised I want to write something to a character that I felt extreme empathy for and I am writing a letter to him.
I know that you’re struggling, and that I am sorry that you couldn’t live a long and happy life. I’m angry that no one tried hard enough to help you, that no one seemed to care about your well being.
I know that Violet tried to help, I know she did – but I wish she didn’t give up on you – I wish she tried to look for you when you decided to disappear again, as everyone claims that you have always done. That that is just the way you are, that you come and go – but you always come back. I don’t know what it feels like when your world seems to be shrinking and constricting you, that feeling you want to just disappear. She truly did love you though, I could see that – she did. And you loved her.
Finch, I wish I knew you – if you have been a real life person, I wish I knew who you were… the real you, none of those personas and facades that you have created to hide. Would have I been able to help you? I don’t think I would have been able to, but I would have liked to try – to listen and try to understand how you were feeling.
It was hard reading how much you wanted to live to be a part of this world, to live happily and content. You helped Violet live her life, freed her from her grief and in that moment you were happy. What happened Finch? Why did you do it? I want to know what went wrong, because I want to understand. You know, I feel like you never truly revealed what you were feeling – that you were always trying to avoid it. I guess, you didn’t have a choice because you have been labelled – and that’s the worst thing they could have done to you Finch.
I’m sorry, that’s all I can say.
I hope that one day you will be able to find the Great Manifesto, that you’re finally happy and can be yourself. I hope you’re happy now Finch, because you deserve it.
This has a different tone to my normal posts,
Theodore Finch is the male protagonist of the book ‘All the Bright Places’ and he is a troubled teenager – he has some mental health issues, and *spoiler* committed suicide near the end of the book. He’s a character that I fell great sympathy for, he wanted to live life happily, but he felt like he couldn’t. There’s so many things that I really would have wanted to change in the book if I was the author, but it wouldn’t have been as a great of a read as it was – I just wish that the adults were more caring and aware of his mental health.
That’s the message, I think, the author was trying to put across – that more people should be more aware of the importance of mental health, and by being aware you may be able to save a life.
I hope that after reading this, you would take the time and look up mental health – because it’s really important and it shouldn’t be seen as a stigma. Make more people aware of it.