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Young boy channels grief into film after losing mother to COVID

Autistic teen creates a poignant film to process his profound loss

Young boy channels grief into film after losing mother to COVID
Cover Image Source: YouTube | CBC Docs

The support and love a mother gives her child create one of the most intricate and beautiful bonds imaginable. A mother's unmatched support and empathy are vital during life's challenging moments. Yet, losing a mother can cause profound grief. In 2020, young Leymo lost his mother to COVID-19 and was left to cope with his 13-year-old sister. Leymo, who is autistic, penned a heartfelt letter to his beloved mother, expressing his grief, as reported by CBC Documentaries.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Julia M Cameron
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Julia M Cameron

“It was a scary and chaotic time, and I was in disbelief—I still am to this day,” he said. Leymo mentioned that though the pandemic may have long ended and people are feeling normal again, some things and some people like him will never be the same again on account of their heart-wrenching loss. Sharing this pain with those who have endured similar grief, Leymo turned his letter into a short film titled “Love, Leymo,” with the hope that others can relate and find comfort in his work. “In the short film 'Love, Leymo,' I share my perspective about growing up as an autistic kid with my mom by my side to support me and advocate for me, and how that's all changed now that she's gone,” he expressed.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| John Mark Smith
Representative Image Source: Pexels| John Mark Smith

However, he emphasized that the short film isn’t just about his sorrow but also about how life has been and how he copes after the passing of his mum. Leymo writes daily to his late mother, sharing his life's joys and challenges with her. “I write to my mother regularly to update her on everything that's been going on—the exciting things but also my challenges. I read one of those letters aloud in this documentary,” Leymo explained. The young boy shared more about his relationship with his mother.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Suzy Hazelwood
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Suzy Hazelwood

He said, “My mom was the only person I could turn to whenever I needed support, and now that she's gone, it's tough. Going to her funeral was especially hard, but I had to do it because it would be the last time I would see her.” Leymo reflects that despite his mother’s passing, he knows life must continue. But when the going gets tough and things seem bleak, he finds solace in writing to his late mother. “Whenever I'm going through big life changes, like applying to college or trying to become a working actor, I write her a letter to update her about my achievements and struggles and dreams,” he pointed out.

The outlet also shared glimpses of Leymo’s letter in a YouTube video. “I’m in high school now and I’ve told my teachers and professors about my autism, but it doesn't seem to be that big of a deal to them. Some friends even asked me to hang out with them but they drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes and I’m like, ‘No way man!’” Sharing a meaningful message with the audience, Leymo said, “I am more than just my tragedy. I have thoughts and ideas about the world that I think people on and off the spectrum can relate to. I hope the audience feels that as well after watching 'Love, Leymo.'”


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