Dear Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
I am writing this letter to you because since I saw your face I cannot stop thinking about you. I am glad you are alive because there is so much ahead of you.
I need to write to you because you are only 19. Yet, you are capable of shutting your young heart and feel no pain for other’s pain. I wonder over and over again what happened to you, why you took that route. Yes, they say that you were influenced by your (evil) brother. But why, I ask, couldn’t you influence him?
I have an 18 year old. She is in college just like you. In fact she is very close to Boston, just a half an hour by train. She could have been at the marathon. Or some of her friends. Or even you could have met her and befriend her. It is a very scary thought to know that someone you call a friend could be so empty inside just like you are.
What part of you have we missed? I have seen many pictures of you, some with smiling friends. Buy you never smiled. Were you so sad and miserable that the only way you could g find some satisfaction was by killing and mutilating innocent people?
Did your parents abandon you? Did you ever feel lonely? Did a girl you loved reject you?
I am glad you are alive, I was saying. Glad that there will be so many years ahead of you were the life that could have been will never be. Were the simplest of things will be unattainable. Like smelling the fresh cut grass, or running on it, or feeling the sand under your feet. Or maybe a home coked meal, and your favorite meal. What is your favorite meal? When was the last time you had it? You might just have to live with that memory for the rest of your life.
I don’t seek revenge even though the four people you and your brother killed will never be able to do any of that either. And those who lost their legs or their health will never be the same people. Nothing that happens to you will put things back where they were before you decided to become a jihad hero or who knows what you thought you wanted to be.
I am glad you are alive so maybe you have enough time to drop your violent ways, your twisted view of religion and to embrace the only thing that could make things better: love.
Maybe while you see your days, weeks, months and years escape through the metal bars that will forever be your companions, you will re-think what you did, repent perhaps, cry not for your loss of freedom and youth, or self pity, but for the loss of others. When you do that, if you do that, then I will no longer feel good about you being alive. Then you could go. You could go in peace.