A Letter to Mom, if You Can Hear Me...

Mom, if you can hear me, there are some things I want to tell you...

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

In the fall of 2015, my mother passed away. A few days later, during a moment to myself, I wrote her a letter:

To Mom,

Finest, kindest, and most loving are lacking when describing the experience of being your son.

Before I was born, you were my first advocate. And for the longest time, my only friend. It took me time to notice, but I am forever grateful. Thank you.

I will strive to make my life a divine reflection of the type of woman you were and the qualities you held as a mother.

Your nature will live on in me, and when I have a child, it will live on in them and in everyone we touch as a family. That’s the legacy you’ve set.

There is a lot of speculation about what happens... but what is true and immediate, we live on through human connections. We live. You’ll live. And when I close my eyes, there you’ll be.

Rest in Peace and Grace,

Your son
(The Starry Night | Vincent van Gogh, 1889. This was Vincent van Gogh's view from his hospital room.)

(The Starry Night | Vincent van Gogh, 1889. This was Vincent van Gogh's view from his hospital room.)

Mothers bring us into life. Cherish them. And if you can, hold them tight. Let them know they are loved.

In Korean, there is something known as "han." My parents taught it to me, but it is only after their passing that I understand what it means — that grief is communal. We bear it together. I am not alone. You are not alone. With support and time, under the heartache, there is healing. Life is never incomplete, no matter how long or short.

Time heals what reason cannot.
— Seneca
One of our good days at the hospital

One of our good days at the hospital

Mama Yang Memorial Fund

I created a memorial fund in her honor through her hospital, City of Hope. There's no middle man and this isn't to pay for any of our debt, it all goes to the research hospital and to patient care. To patients like my mom, or someone else's mom, a sister, a brother, a father, a friend. Having spent a year there, I've gotten to know a lot of patients and their families. This money is vital for them. And the truth is, we are also investing in our own future, and the future of the next generation. In your own small (or big) way, you will be helping in that cause. To donate, click here.