A phone call (open letters to my loved ones at the end of the world)

This morning I got a phone call from my mum who wanted to let me know how she feels about me before the potential end of the world. As an Ancient Historian, I would love to find letters written in such a circumstance and so, for posterity, here are my open letters.

Dear Dad,

You are the glue that holds our tempestuous family together, and you do it with grace. You receive the least praise, but you work the hardest of all of us. You love us immensely and without reservation. I don’t often tell you how proud I am to have you as my father, or how much I love you. Both these things are true, but these words do not go even a little way to expressing the true depth of feeling. So, I will let you in on a secret, just in case the world ends: I am dedicating my doctoral thesis, and any resulting monograph, to you. Without you I would never have become the person I am.

I love you.

Your daughter.


Dear Sister,

This will be short, but filled with truth: you are my hero.

I love you.

Your sister.


Dear Husband,

You know how I feel about you, and you know that I love you. Our years together have not always been perfect, or easy, but we are here on this journey together, and so we shall remain. There are too many signs that we belong to one another. You are more than my husband. You are my other half – my partner in crime.

I love you.

Your wife.


Dear Daughter,

You have filled my life with more joy than I ever thought possible. You have changed me, humbled me, filled me with pride. You are a little me and yet so much an individual. I find it extraordinary that so much complexity can be contained in so small a person. And you are, now, a little person. I hope I see you grow and evolve but if I don’t get that opportunity the fourteen months we have had together have been the best of my life.

I love you.

Your mother.


Dear Mum,

I never didn’t love you. I know you will know what that means.

Love always,

Your daughter.


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