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The "Dear Sheldon" Archive

In 1997, the Bruins made a special area on their official website for fans to send thank you messages to Sheldon. Anyone who wrote in got their well wishes posted on the site. The site at the final count was somewhere in the double digits page-wise. I got a message in and it's someplace close to the bottom of this page.

However, these are just a few of the people who wanted to commend Sheldon on his courage and strength of character...the most recent contributions are added to the top. If you have a note you'd like included on this page, (I'll continue this page if you all would like) please email me with "Dear Sheldon Archive" in the subject title so that I know it's for this page.

Please note that this is NOT Sheldon's email address and should only be used for posting messages to this section of the site. You can check out Sheldon's story here.

Dear Sheldon,
First of all, I would like to commend you on your courage. It took a lot to speak out as you did. As a secretary in a correctional facility I am often amazed at how many inmates will tell me that they were abused, either sexually or physically, as children. This often led to alcohol and drug abuse then to the crime that led them to their incarceration. By speaking out you have shown the victims of this terrible crime that there is hope for them and that they can with the proper help overcome it. Yes, there will be nightmares and other problems, but you can win this battleif you speak out and seek help. Best wishes for you in the future. Take care.
Chenoa L. Miller, Moundsville, WV (USA)

Hi- I saw Sheldon today on the Oprah show and was very touched. I don't know a lot about hockey, but his story is an inspiration. Thank you Sheldon for being brave enough to take a stand and go public with something that hurts so much. I am now a Bruins fan-- just to see you. Thanks again.
Karen Lubbock, TX (USA)

...the following letter is apparently written for Martin Kruse, the man who exposed the decades-old secret sexual abuse at Maple Leaf Gardens. Kruze committed suicide on October 30th...
As a survivor I was shaken by the news that the court system let you down and you took your own life. The pain of coming forward and having your abuse trivialized by the courts..... It is hard to understand what abuse does even if you are a survivor. The sexual confusion, the rape of the body, mind and soul. This man who took young hockey players and impresses them into his trap...this abuser has your blood on his hands. It is important to understand that when boys are abused it is as bad as when girls are sexually abused. May God hold your broken soul and heal you. May peace be with you now. If I had killed myself 16 years ago I would not have seen the birth of my child. Life has been good but the pain of this does not go away. The courts must become aware about what this crime does to the mind of the victim. I hope, Sheldon, that you will comment on this tragedy. Please seek a support group if you were abused. Do not let the abuser destroy you! Living a good life is the best revenge.
...no name or address given...

This is a letter I wrote on a cold November night in 1996, the night my life was falling apart around me...
I wrote it to God...
Father can I ask some questions in my time of need? How the (skin?) does bleed, but will it turn to stone once again? I need some answers to some questions, I don't know how to ask. The confusion in me rises, while the pain sinks in deep. The wounds of past memories have healed, but the scars remain. For everyone to see, I bleed the pain, knowing what others don't. This vicious cycle I run, like the misty morning sun, it's cold to the bone, and my soul feels the chill. The pain is felt, and the monstrosity of memories, just won't fade away. The secrets that no one knows, the ones I can't let go of. "I'm running from this nightmare, with anger in my eyes. I'm not trying to fake, but I'm not the one to blame." I live a lie everyday, and I think to myself, "They see right through me." So the defense is built, and the walls are stone. Break them down, if you can. Somehow, some way they get rebuilt through the lie. He's the bastard to my game, and he won't let me win. For he is the one, he's always gonna be there...to remind me...I remember. The pain becomes normal, I become hooked like a junkie. It's like I need my fix, just to stay alive another day. "Help me doctor, oh please fix me in my time of need, help me doctor Demon, help numb away the pain. Can you see the anger in my eyes?" I don't see my face when I look in the mirror, and I don't understand. Can you kill this angry boy inside the man? Does this anger go away?
...no name or address given...

This poem is for Sheldon, and for all survivors! I'll see you in Denver in two weeks. I am anxious to hear you speak about your life in public. I wish I could! I hope you got the poem I sent you in February. I hurt for you as you might for me now!

Indispensible Ache
So far from leaving home without it,
there's no fear of doing that in this sorry lifetime.
It just seems to come along all on its own,
a shadow of the self and not merely a ghost of the past.
The indispensable ache is all that's left of a self that has wandered.
It fills me, when nothing else can.
It's an inescapable break from the folklore of futures,
surrounded by the tug of what was and I fear might still be.
From a pain in my side to a sole, trusted feeling,
not even darkness can keep us apart.
For in the shadows life has taught me most of its meaning,
slipping in and out of light no matter what the hour.
The indespensable ache is all I have that feels familiar.
It fills me like nothing else has.
It's an indefensible place here where you've found me,
adrift on the river I never thought of as other than mine.
Just before I slip away, I feel empty,
not far enough gone not to know what it is that I miss.
If in slumber one can still feel naught but the aching,
can the days be any more of the same?
The indefensible hate is all I've had to fall back on.
It stills me, when nothing else will.
It's an inescapable fate I seem to have followed,
too afraid of the feelings once feared to be all I could have.
Why life travels uphill forever is completely beyond me,
as do paths trodden alone seeming somehow at peace.
Mere companions to fill the silence are not what I've needed.
They serve only to deafen the calls of history's lament.
The indespensable ache is all that's left of the soul I've let languish.
It fills me, despite all that I've tried.
It's an inescapable break from what was once all I felt that mattered,
discounted by the loss of the power to love.

Hi Sheldon,
You continue to be an inspiration to all hockey fans. We are all praying for your quick recovery.
We know you will be back to NHL ice. Come to Tampa!!
Ken and Karen Robinson

I really appreciate what you're doing for victims of sexual assault. I'm not even sure you realize how important what you're doing is. By speaking out, you are giving so many people the courage to do the same. It is such an important thing, important not only to the issue of sexual assault, but to the hundreds and hundreds of people who have experienced the same as you have. Maybe someday I will be as brave as you.
...no name or address given...

Hey Sheldon.
This message is coming from a die-hard B's fan now living in Singapore. What you did last year took more guts than taking on Probert with one hand tied behind your back. You are truly a warrior. Best of luck to you in your career, and, most importantly, in life.
Candace Roper

I've been a Bruins fan since I was 7...I'm 34 now. I'm a former Bostonian living in Tucson, AZ, now but am still able to watch the Bruins out here. Out of all the players over the years you have definately done the most bringing public awareness to a major problem. Keep up the good work and no one shall feel like they can't discuss abuse that has happened to them ever again. Have a great '97-'98 season and I'll be seeing you out here vs the Coyotes.
Nancy, Tucson, AZ (USA)

Your courage is an inspiration to me Sheldon. you can work on freedom now. Untreated trauma can lead to PTSD. I am recovering from trauma, and have created an information site to help others in search for answers. The site is <http://www.bein.com/trauma>. We have started a support group in our area of the globe. It's known as TA or Trauma Anonymous and is a 12 step fellowship. I wish you all the best on your vision to help other survivors. Thanks for your example of courage.
Jim Johnson, Trauma Survivor

Your story is one of the most courageous stories I've heard in a long time. I realize it's hard for anyone to tell stories about their own abuse, but I think when you spend your life in the spotlight of society, it makes it that much harder. Believe me, you've helped a lot of people, you've made them realize it's okay to tell what happened to them, and it's not their fault. But most of all, you've made them realize that they will still be loved if people know about this, they now know society won't reject them and won't treat them like outsiders. Your strength and courage will continue to be remembered, and felt worldwide for a long time.
Jackie Gallant, New Brunswick (CANADA)

It took a lot of courage to come forward like you did, and to think about how many lives you will affect by telling them not to keep their pain inside will be well worth it. I was at the April 10 Philadelphia Flyers game where the Flyers' Wives raised $49, 127 for your Foundation. The interest in the silent auction was enormous, you couldn't even move due to the number of people wanting to see the memorabilia. I wish you and the Foundation continued success. You are an inspiration to us all.
A Flyers fan from NJ

Dear Sheldon,
I am a Canadian now living in New Mexico where Hockey News is few and far between so it was just today that I learned of your story watching the Oprah show. I have felt compelled to respond to shows before but never have. However your storyhas touched me in a somewhat more personal way. You see I grew up in Prince Albert, SK where I am sure you know that it like many other Canadian towns are huge on hockey. Being a girl I never played hockey but it was all around me my whole life. As an adult I lived in Vancouver where I got a job working in a group home with young children most of whom had been abused sexually or otherwise. One boy in particular became quite close to me and he was a big hockey fan and while he was in our home he was able to join hockey. For him it was the one place he could succeed. It breaks my heart to think that a child has nowhere that he can feel safe and be safe. Not even a child which is cherished by so many Canadians. This young boy or so many others like him can and will benefit so much from your ranch that you are planning to build. The one thing I learned from working with these children is that in a world that is chaotic, nothing is more therapeutic and relaxing for them than the freedom of the outdoors. I pray that you accomplish your goal and give these kids the opportunity to experience this which they might not otherwise had the chance to. I would like to contribute as well when I can.
Thank you.

You are a good, strong man and you know it. We love you and support you, Sheldon!!
A fan from Colorado, USA

Dear Sheldon,
You are a very courageous man. It takes courage and guts to speak out about abuse in an effort to help others. I hope people all over will be encouraged and the young people out there who look to you as a role model will be encouraged to not allow anyone to harm them or at least not be afraid to speak out. We have watched you come to form in the hockey arena. We watched you play with the Adriondack red Wings winning the CUP!!!!! You were awesome then and are still awesome (even better) with the Bruins...even though they aren't my favorite team :)
...no name or address given...

I wrote this on my computer, thru tears of fear. The next thing, there was a knock on my door. It was the only person in the world I trusted. She asked what was wrong, and I broke down, and told her, when I was ten, I was molested by a neighbor. I hid this for eighteen years. I have come a long way, and have gotten help, thru friends and family and therapy. The heardest thing was telling my mom. But one night (it was a Sunday) and I was watching ESPN, and saw your story. Your comeback in Calgary, I sat down and just started crying, telling myself, I wasn't the only one. You gave me courage, and I decided to make sure I help others Right now I am trying to write my book, and want to start some support groups in the future... God bless you and thank you!
...no name or address given...

Dear Sheldon,
Hi. I'm a 20-year-old girl from Florida and I wanted to tell you what a wonderful influence you are to me, as I'm a child's advocate and work with young children in an elementary school. When you went public with your story, it broke my heart that someone could do something like that. I really look up to you as a positive role model and I've talked to so many people that love you as much as I do and we really miss you out on the ice. Without you, there is no heart and soul of a team. We need you to get well soon and come back to hockey--you're valuable and irreplacable. Please look at it as a new beginning for you and the sport of hockey, as you've worked hard to overcome the most serious injury of all, forget broken bones. God bless you and come back soon.
Love Always,
Amanda Micheels, Boca Raton, FL

There are sometimes no words to describe what sexual abuse does to a person. At 41 years old I am only starting to deal with my lifetime of chemical abuse, psychological crisis, hospital stays, confusion and avoiding the voice in my head that tells me I should die. There is no stuffing this down this pain that wells up in my chest like a burning coal and leaves me empty and in tears. Then there is the people I love who want to hold me close but the fear makes me want to run away. I saw you last night on the T.V. and went to bed fighting the thoughts of suicide again. But we are survivors and we will stand and be countedas the wounded who see the world through different eyes. The war that rages in our heads and the wounds that will not heal are somehow better because of you. Thank you Sheldon. I know how hard it is to come forward. I hope this will encourage other survivors to come forward and find some peace in knowing and taking to the others who have been victims of this unspeakable crime. If you are a victim, please contact the resources that can help you! I know how hard it is to take that first step. In Vancouver, contact the VSSMSA. Vancouver Society for the Survivors of Male Sexual Abuse. You are not alone.
...no name or address given...

You probably have saved the career of some of the young budding NHL players in the Hitmen organization and everyone, not only in the hockey world but in society as well, owes you big. Ryan MacDonald, Sydney, Nova Scotia (CANADA)
(For those who haven't seen the movie, Graham was coaching the Hitmen
at the time of his arrest for Sheldon's complaint)

I have been a fan of yours since you played in Swift Current. I think what you have done and what you are doing about child abuse is great! Keep up the good work.
Michael Hertz (CANADA)

I myself was sexually abused by someone I trusted. Although at the time I was only three, now 17, I couldn't understand why. Even now I don't. But because of your courage, I now have the courage to tell my parents and face what happened and not run away. I just wanted everyone to know that everyone here in Canada is proud of you and wish you and your family all the best in the future. Just remember: you hold the key to your dreams!! Good luck in the future.
Shawna Rau, Peace River, AB (CANADA)

Courage. Guts. Intestinal fortitude. Rocks of Pure Granite. To come out and share your experiences publicly took such strength of conviction, faith, support of friends and loved ones, and a belief that telling the truth would help set things back on the path towards where they should have been going in the first place. You are an inspiration to everyone who hears your story. I hope that I will have the same courage you displayed if I ever face such an overwhelming obsticle. May you know only success, love and happiness for the rest of your days. In awe, admiration, respect and best wishes, Andy Lalor, 24, St. Louis, MO (USA)

Dear Sheldon Kennedy,
I'm not sure why your story feels so close to my heart, because I haven't faced the same struggles as yourself. I've had my own as others have, but, I believe it is because I stand up for anyone in this society that "does the right thing". I hope you can feel the pride that others see in you because you are a man. A real man is rare these days. Be proud of your efforts and decisions because they couldn't be more right.
...no name or address given...

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