A Letter To Hannah Baker From ‘13 Reasons Why’
I know it doesn’t make any sense to write a letter to a dead person. But then, you have left tapes to people after killing yourself, so you have left me with no choice. I am not writing this letter to you to debate whether what you did was right or wrong, because it’s already been done; I am writing this letter to you just to express my thoughts about what you did, just like you did.
You were in a lot of pain, so you killed yourself. You did what you felt was right. I get it. And, I don’t mean to trivialize your pain or discount your troubles. Living does seem too painful at times. But, didn’t you know that what you did would cause a lot of pain to others, too?
Your friend, Alex, killed himself in the end, probably from the guilt of the pain he caused to you. I bet you didn’t see that coming. Perhaps, you made him out to be a worse person than he actually was. A man in Peru killed himself in real life just the way you killed yourself. Perhaps, you didn’t think your reel death would affect people so much in reel as well as real life.
I know you just wanted the pain to end. Honestly, I wanted the same for you. So, I don’t blame you for killing yourself, but I feel sad for the people who have to live without you. Your parents, your friends who genuinely cared for you. They will never get complete closure. They would probably blame themselves for your death all their lives and never stop thinking whether they could have saved you. They would probably never forgive themselves for letting you down. You didn’t deserve the pain but neither did they.
I know you might not agree with this and you don’t need to, but perhaps you could have saved yourself and others a lot of pain if instead of leaving them the tapes after killing yourself, you could have left them when you were alive, or confronted them and had an open conversation with them. Perhaps, you could’ve changed your mind had you realized that not all of them were mean to you on purpose; that people make mistakes, that nobody is a good human being at all times, that people can change for the better if you let them.
True, some people can be irrevocable monsters, but there would be no good people left in the world if they all started killing themselves over the actions of some bad people, right? And perhaps, you could have found some good people if only you had looked for them.
These days, a lot of my friends are suffering from depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety and other mental illnesses. And a lot of them are suicidal. What do you do when you have nothing left to live for, they ask me.
To be honest, I don’t know what to tell them or you. But all I know for sure is that I am scared of losing them. I don’t want to wake in a world tomorrow that doesn’t have them. Perhaps, I am selfish in not wanting to lose them. Perhaps, I am being inconsiderate for judging your decision to take your life. After all, it was your life to take. What right do I have to stop someone from killing themselves? I don’t. Because, deep inside, I am somewhat of a pessimistic nihilist, too. There are times when I can’t find anything left to live for. There are times when I can’t find any meaning in life.
At such times, I simply try to push these thoughts away by trying to enjoy all that life has to offer us. I try to be an absurdist instead of a nihilist. Maybe life has no meaning. Maybe all the beautiful nature, art, and beauty life has to offer doesn’t suffice. Maybe there’s nothing left to live for. But can’t we simply live for ourselves? After all, what’s the point of giving up now after coming so far and letting all that pain go in vain?
You see, dying is not the only way to stop the pain. They say that time can heal all wounds. But I have realized, it cannot. You simply suffer new wounds that make you forget your old ones. Maybe that is what life is about. Surviving.
I wish you had survived and written a different ending to your story than the one you have written now. You see, life doesn’t offer us a happy ending always. It’s we who create the happy ending. I wish you had created your happily ever after.
Perhaps, 13 reasons why you wanted to kill yourself could have given way to 13 reasons why you wanted to live.