Girl's Letter to Future Self Goes Viral After Her Death

Taylor Smith's letter inspires others, say parents

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 13, 2014 1:25 PM CST

(Newser) – Taylor Smith died suddenly of pneumonia on Jan. 5, but months beforehand, the 12-year-old wrote a two-page letter to her future self. The Tennessee girl intended to open it in 2023, when she was 22, and excitedly told her mom about it. Instead, her parents opened it after her death—and shared it with the world, in the hopes that people would be inspired by Taylor's words, Today reports. In addition to the type of things you'd expect from a pre-teen ("Is Doctor Who still on the air?" she asks her adult self. "You should go watch some Doctor Who!"), Taylor talks a lot about the importance of her faith—and shares some particularly touching advice at the end.

"Remember, it’s been 10 years since I wrote this. Stuff has happened, good and bad," Taylor wrote. "That’s just how life works, and you have to go with it." The letter can be read in full on Facebook. Why share it? "I just want people to know just what an awesome, awesome person she was," says her dad, Tim. Taylor, who also talked a lot about her relationship with God in the letter, "had the wisdom of an adult but the faith of a child," her aunt tells the Johnson City Press. Adds mom Mary Ellen, "I can't physically resurrect her, I can't bring her back, but I'm so grateful people have been inspired by her story. ... [We’ve gotten] letters from lots of parents who've said it's encouraged them to love their kids and love each other." (Click for the story of another inspiring young person who died recently.)

Taylor Smith   (Today)
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A 'Today' report on Taylor Smith.   (Today)

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