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An open letter to the Children Who Survived the Sewol

Disclaimer: This post by no means attempts to undermine the authorities nor it is to disrespect the families of the victims. This post is my personal feelings and are the thoughts of a mother of three children. 

Dear Children,

Live your lives well. Your friends would want that. As difficult as it feels, let go off the past. Hanging on to the feeling of anger and vengeance, or to constantly try to find someone to blame the tragedy on, is not a healthy way to live the rest of your lives.

Adults have disappointed you, I know. But you are on your way to adulthood now. Live your lives better than they did. You have emerged from a horrific tragedy and have that experience to show for. At a young age, you learnt the true meaning of helplessness, hopelessness, desperation and terror. Use that knowledge to your advantage: be a better person first and foremost, for your own sake, for your families’ sake, for society’s sake.

Forgive yourselves for living. Move on. Be what you want to be. And be better. Do not be angry over what happened. Anger will blacken your hearts and blind the paths that could lead you to be a better person.

Do not hold grudges. The adults responsible have paid their dues. Remind yourselves of how much forgiveness would mean to you if it was you in their shoes.

Always remember that good comes from within and radiates to those around you. Because when you are old and have seen enough of this world, you will not think “I wish I have stayed angry longer.”

Instead, focus on the present. Your education. Your lives. Your careers. These are the reasons why you need to forgive. Move on. Forgive, not those who caused the tragedy, but for yourselves. I believe this is what your friends who had left you, would want you to do.Messages from mourners on yellow ribbons are tied to trees near the memorial altar. The one in the center reads, “Sorry.”

Messages from mourners on yellow ribbons are tied to trees near the memorial altar. The one in the center reads, “Sorry.” Credit: The Korean Herald / 2014


Trust me. You will never regret the forgiveness you offered to those responsible or yourself, for living.



2 thoughts on “An open letter to the Children Who Survived the Sewol

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