Dear Tim Hetherington,
It’s stupid to think that you would ever read this, what with you not knowing me or anything. Our lives never connected, our paths never crossed. That’s probably for the best because I don’t know if I’d be the same person I was if they did. Paths crossing, that is. I saw you yesterday on my TV screen but I first heard of you in 2011. You broke my silly little human heart.
Watching your story made me think of this 12 or 11-something-year-old watching BBC news before school. She was really run-of-the-mill apart from this compulsion to watch the rest of the world in all its pain. In her mind, she was in Kosovo during the war. She pictured ever scenario…memorised ever sign-off line and pretended it was her reporting the news and not some lady with a British accent. She wanted to be there and she couldn’t wait to grow up. So sums up the rest of her teenage years plus some other stuff that sort of came in the way.
I wouldn’t say you’re my “hero”, because I don’t want to idolise you. WHAT. Yes I do. But you’re not my hero. You’re my dream.
You’re a life I wish so badly I could have, except I’d do that last part differently. The irony of it all is that I might have never heard of you if it wasn’t for that part.
Every people-watching, soul-searching, heartache I feel from being a mere spectator becomes more apparent when I think about you. How can I accept this reality when another like me in *close-my-eyes-point-on-a-map* is going to sleep with no guaranteed promise of tomorrow? At least I have some guarantee. You did something about your guilt. You did a shit load of something.
I don’t know about me. I’m too timid and I don’t know how I’d ever be anything like you. But I try.
Everyday I want my life to be better and everyday I go to bed with the understanding that it’s a very very selfish goal. My life can be this exact same way if it wants! What I want is your spirit. No prayer or God is going to give me that. You got it from the living, breathing world. The hurt and the happy. There isn’t a better God that the human spirit.
You’re never going to read this. I’m stupid. But if you’re my dream, then maybe you will? Try.
Thank you for the truth. What a fucking legacy, man.