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Young Autistic Man Writes Heartfelt Letter to His Mother who He Lost During the Pandemic

His mother passed away during the pandemic but he has written a letter to address her posthumously, which he has narrated in a documentary.
Cover Image Source: YouTube | CBC Docs
Cover Image Source: YouTube | CBC Docs

The pandemic was a grim time for humanity and several families across the globe were left broken after losing their loved ones to the virus. Amidst the health emergency, there were also workers who had to put their lives on the line to contain the situation. Leymo Mohammed was only 17 years old when he lost his mother to COVID in 2020. She was a personal support worker who left him behind with his 13-year-old sister. A few years later Mohammed participated in a documentary to honor his mom and read out a letter that sums up his life so far without his mom. The documentary that was shared on Aeon, an online culture magazine that curates videos and essays, is titled "Love, Leymo." The 12-minute-long documentary is directed by Randall Okita and is a part of CBC Documentaries.


Mohammed, now 21, is an aspiring actor and filmmaker who is on the autism spectrum. The video shows him narrating his letter over a montage of scenes from his real life, accompanied by animation depicting the ups and downs of his life as a black man in Toronto. Mohammed started reading the letter at the beginning of the documentary, recalling the days when COVID-19 vaccines did not exist and how it was a chaotic and scary time for him. He wants people to understand that "nothing ever went back to normal for the people who lost their loved ones during the pandemic."

With his mother gone, Mohammed had to support himself and also take care of his younger sister. He also mentions that he has continued writing letters to his mother regularly to update her about his life even if she is gone. For the documentary, he has chosen to read one of those letters out loud. "I miss my mom a lot. I wish I could talk to her about the things I'm going through. I have friends now that I can talk to who are supportive but it's obviously not the same," he tells CBC. He adds, "My mom was the only person I could turn to whenever I needed support, and now that she's gone, it's really tough." 


"Even though things have been tough, some really great things have been happening in my life too," Mohammed continues. "I am more than just my tragedy. I am more than just a person on the autism spectrum. I have thoughts and ideas about the world that I think people on and off the spectrum can relate to. I have different abilities, but in many ways, I am the same. I hope the audience feels that as well after watching Love, Leymo."


In the documentary, he shares how he doesn't always get along with his sister Biftu but he tries his best to become a good older brother. He has also joined a broadcasting and television program while working at a movie theater. Mohammed also got himself a pet cat named Tiger. He also shows the audience how he gets bullied as well, and to conclude the documentary, Mohammed affirms that "nobody can fill your shoes but there are people out there doing their best."


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