Dear Carl Grimes,
Where do I begin? Days are numbered for everyone in this world, but we always assumed that we could stop counting with you. It was all for you, after all. Everything.
The strength and resiliency within you was unheard of, not just for someone your age, but in all aspects of life: Leaving Atlanta with your mom and Shane when the outbreak occurred; holding onto faith that your father would return even though he had every reason to be dead; surviving a blast from a gun; putting down Shane; putting down your own mother; surviving ANOTHER gun blast; having to watch friends die. You didn’t just live through these events, you lived with them.
What makes you special, though, is how they changed you.
There was a time when you killed a boy while he was surrendering. You regret that, we know. But who could blame you for that when the new world had taught you not to trust anyone? Suffering through the pain that you suffered through, it would make sense had you actually become a future serial killer- but you didn’t. You became more.
A keeper of peace.
A symbol of love and forgiveness.
These qualities, even more than the resiliency, are what made you special. Your mother said that you would beat this world, and while we may be saying goodbye to you now, make no mistake about it- you did. In a ravaged world that sees people take what they want, kill without mercy, and die with no honor, you were the difference.
Even with your inevitable death on the horizon, you lived on your own terms: A smile on your face, basking in the sunlight of a beautiful day; writing notes to everyone you love and taking pictures with your little sister; telling Michonne, your best friend, how much she means to you; making sure your dad, who has taken just as much strength from you as you have from him, would carry on with mercy. Because that’s the only way to truly change the world, and you knew this.
That is how you, Carl, our one-eyed pudding warrior, beat the world.
And now we’re going to honor you.