Kayla Mueller, the American human rights activist and humanitarian aid worker is unfortunately no more. The news channels have been carrying reports of her death from the past two days and the speculations are on the rise whether she was actually killed by the air strike or otherwise. However I am afraid there hasn’t been a very conclusive answer on that.
Today, a letter from Kayla Mueller to the family was released after her death was confirmed. Reading the letter brings about an extraordinary amount of respect to the lady, the depth in her letter and the amount of suffering she has gone through.
Here are a few excerpts from the letter. The letter is a testimony of human will, strength of character and the depth of her personality which has come out in this letter.
I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that, even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it.
Imagine someone taken captive saying that. I cannot even imagine the amount of pain and suffering she might have gone through while in captivity. To think of someone going through that to say this is quite tall of her indeed.
This reminds me of reading an interview with Nelson Mandela. When he was released from prison, he was apparently asked by the reporters how he felt about the experience in prison – where he was locked up for 27 years of the prime of his life. To recall – he was 71 years old when released. One would naturally imagine hatred and indignation towards the injustice meted out. But the man calmly looked at what had to be done next, without harboring any hatred.
I guess it is probably very easy to do what comes naturally to us, but to go beyond that and bring out a special essence of the spirit is truly the human.
If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness.
I really am without words when I read this and maybe my eyes well up a little. I am trying to imagine the thought she might have gone through and the mind goes completely blank. Amongst all the turmoil and agitation inside, the fear of uncertainty and not knowing what might happen the next moment – I wonder how much strength her character would have brought forward to think about the suffering of others and placing it ahead of hers.
I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c there was literally no one else… + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall.
We have often been told that surrendering is the last resort. But what do you think of a situation like this – what about surrendering yourself and the pain to an external force. I am not sure whether I am an atheist or not right now and coming to think of it, it doesn’t really matter.
When you are put through such intense experiences, sometimes maybe one would find belief and solace in an external force and the act of surrender becomes an act of strength instead.
None of us could have known it would be this long but I know I am also fighting from my side in the ways that I am able + I have a lot of fight left in me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes.
I guess the fight is something which describes the true human spirit, something which really speaks about the character. We can only try and imagine what Kayla was going through and somehow that brought out the fighting spirit in her. This reminds me very much of the Victor Frankl in his book – Man’s search for meaning where he talks about his experiences where there was a constant fear of being thrown into the concentration camp.
But somehow the goal was to keep oneself in the fight, to give ourselves a fighting chance instead of giving up. Maybe giving up is too easy for some and maybe that’s something which truly elevates the character.
Two minutes of silence is way too less to pay homage to people like Kayla Mueller. May her soul rest in peace.
Here is a the full transcript of the letter by Kayla Mueller.
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