Emilee Mitchell Klein and Neal Klein
Emilee Mitchell Klein and Neal Klein

A letter from Neal’s Dad

Dear Neal,

It’s Dad. I thought I would share a few thoughts. I thought you might need to hear my voice, and feel my hand touch your cheek.

I know you sometimes kept to yourself as a child, and I am sorry if you were lonely.

I know when we moved from Brooklyn to Long Island when you were twelve, you were scared, and anxious about being a new kid, in a new school, in a new neighborhood with what seemed to be a new culture.

When I suddenly died shortly after we moved, I know you were lonely, confused, and lost without your favorite parent, and that must have been difficult. How could you possibly know how to grieve for a parent? You did the best you could and you stood by your mother when she needed you most. I am proud of you for that.

I know you were lonely with your brother away at college and it just you and Mom, but you were a good student and you graduated high school and went to college.

I know you weren’t sure what direction to take in your life and that you struggled with decisions, and maybe some of that had to do with my sudden death. That must have been, and still is, frustrating for you. In spite of your inner discomfort, you managed to get two graduate degrees, and I know… you are still struggling, but I am so proud of you. I never got to tell you that and I think you desperately need to hear me tell you… so please listen to the message in this letter.

You got married, had two wonderful boys, and sadly, got divorced. I know that broke your heart, almost like a death, but you made it through, and they have grown up to be fine young men, both married, and your youngest has two children.

You are a wonderful poppa, and you still have that childlike wonder in your heart. I am glad to see that you have that playful part of me in you, and you enjoy sharing that joy with others.

Son, I am truly sorry for your loss of Emilee. I know how that has saddened you but your tears have a way of cleansing your wounds, and although your tears, and your wounds will never go away completely, you have sincerely opened you heart and that would not have been possible any other way.

I know that you will emerge from this tragedy with some newly acquired wisdom. You will finally find your way and you will share some of your talents with others. It is time. You have gifts to share. They have no value unless you share them.

Emilee, too, sends you her blessings. We are both so very proud of you.

Love Always,