When learning about history, it’s easy to forget that the past is full of real people with very real emotions. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that feelings existed before we could update our Facebook statuses with a sad face emoticon.
But every now and then we’re reminded that people have been falling in love and experiencing grief and loss and every other human emotion for a very long time. A love letter from nearly 500 years ago was found in an ancient tomb in South Korea, written by a pregnant widow for her deceased husband.
It’s a letter that could have been written by any woman today experiencing the grief of raising your beloved’s child without him by your side.
To Won’s Father
June 1, 1586
You always said, “Dear, let’s live together until our hair turns gray and die on the same day.” How could you pass away without me? Who should I and our little boy listen to and how should we live? How could you go ahead of me?
How did you bring your heart to me and how did I bring my heart to you? Whenever we lay down together you always told me, “Dear, do other people cherish and love each other like we do? Are they really like us?” How could you leave all that behind and go ahead of me?
I just cannot live without you. I just want to go to you. Please take me to where you are. My feelings toward you I cannot forget in this world and my sorrow knows no limit. Where would I put my heart in now and how can I live with the child missing you?
Please look at this letter and tell me in detail in my dreams. Because I want to listen to your saying in detail in my dreams I write this letter and put it in. Look closely and talk to me.
When I give birth to the child in me, who should it call father? Can anyone fathom how I feel? There is no tragedy like this under the sky.
You are just in another place, and not in such a deep grief as I am. There is no limit and end to my sorrows that I write roughly. Please look closely at this letter and come to me in my dreams and show yourself in detail and tell me. I believe I can see you in my dreams. Come to me secretly and show yourself. There is no limit to what I want to say and I stop here.
Cry!! I just want to reach through time and space and bring this woman ice cream and wine. Rest in peace sister.
Can you feel her pain through her words?
Image via Roman P.G./Flickr