Dear Jay Asher,
My name is Jazz Marie Niehaus and like Clay in your book 13 Reasons Why, I've had to relive the memories of my mother that left us two years ago. My mother died of cancer two years back, and my family decided we were going to be strong. We didn't pack up our bags and leave town, I didn't leave school for a month, and I didn't change my lifestyle. We stayed in the same house and I went to school the next day. Still there are those everyday things I see that tell a story, that may seem like nothing to some, but the world to me.
As I ride the bus early in the morning, the first place I pass is the cemetery, the resting place of my mother, Jackie. We drive down main street of Small Town, USA, and I remember walking to the library with mom, remembering sitting up on her lap having her read me Hide-and-Seek Elmer. And as I pass these sites everyday, like Clay, I remember the stories that once seemed so simple, just a house, just a day, now make me stop, and want to cry.
I can't relate to Hannah, ever wanting to kill myself, but I put myself in the spot of Clay. Going around, seeing people, living in a memory. But unlike Clay, these memories are mine; I'm not living in someones memories that don't belong to me. But, I still relate to Clay, going through life and looking at things differently because you lost someone. When you lose someone, you also lose a little piece of your heart. It's like getting stitches. You fall, and you're cut wide open, and the doctors stitch you back up. It stays sore for a while, and then they take the stitches out. But, where the stitches once were, you have a scar. Some scars do fade, but others will be there forever. Sometimes, like in Hannah's case, you fall, and you're gashed wide open. And your body can't take that big of injury or loss, and so you die.
If you think about it, everyone can be a Clay. Everyone has that one special place that would mean nothing to you nor me, but it means the world to them. When they go back there, even though the people changed, you still remember. You still live in that memory, but Clay and I see those places everyday. We remember what was, and how it changed. When we go to these places, our scars show a little bit more, and who we used to be catches up with us a tad bit.
Before I read 13 reasons why, I tried to hide my scars. I tried to stay who I was before my mother left. I didn't want the change, the change of knowing. And when I finished the book, I had changed. Along with my circumstances, I finally changed with them. Before I read your book, I tried to hide my scratches and chips, but it is those little cracks and scars, that make me who I am today. I would never have known that if it wasn't for your book, 13 reasons why.