1. People & Relationships
Cherie Burbach

Another Thing We Can Learn From Sandy Hook Principal's Dawn Hochsprung: "Just Because" Letters

By December 20, 2012

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I've hesitated in writing about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Like everyone, I've been heartbroken over what happened. I have a hard time watching the news and seeing those beautiful little faces whose lives ended too quickly at the hands of evil.

There's so much to say about this subject, but as a writer about friendship, I want to focus on that as much as I can. I know that's what you all come here to read about. The other day I read something that can really help your friendships or any relationship you have, and it's inspired from Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Hochsprung's daughter, Erica Lafferty, talked to the Today Show about her mom and mentioned that she "cherished several "just because" letters that her mother had written to her." She specifically mentioned one that her mom wrote after she moved out of the house for the first time. It said:

"My dearest Erica, you are and forever will be my sweet baby girl. You possess a piece of my heart and soul, and I will never be complete without you. Remember this in your darkest times...you are never alone. Your Mom. Be safe, be well, be happy. No one deserves it more!"

If you're like me, this letter brought tears to your eyes. What a wonderful gift to give someone. I think this is part of the amazing legacy Hochsprung created while on this earth. Imagine if we could all do this with the people in our lives? How a simple note can lift someone's spirits not just at the time they read it but again and again.

Let's work on doing this very thing this holiday season. Write a "just because" letter to someone in your life. Let them know that you appreciate them. Never assume that people "know" how you feel - tell them! Tell them again and again. These "just because" letters are one way to do that, and what a wonderful way to honor this very special person.

January 2, 2013 at 1:14 am
(1) Erica Lafferty says:

Thank you. If more parents – or people in general – took the time to express their feelings to each other this world would be a better place. Not only did that card make me smile on the day that I received it, but now too, when I need it most.


January 2, 2013 at 10:13 am
(2) friendship says:

My condolescences on the death of your mom. I’m glad you were able to find something so positive from her letters, which inspires us all to do better in our relationships.

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