“I hope you can be free again someday. I will always love you, Laura. Be good.”
That’s the last message Laura ever received from her ex-boyfriend. Together, they were addicted to heroin. After they broke up, he got clean but she couldn’t. The last thing she texted him after another overdose was just to say, “I am so sorry.”
Now, these intensely private text messages are online as part of an anonymous Tumblr project called The Last Message Received. It was all started by 16-year-old Emily Trunko with the simple mission: asking the Internet to submit screenshots of the last message received from a loved one – whether it’d be an ex, a former best friend or a dying relative.According to The New York Times, The Last Message Received got over 2,500 submissions in just a few short weeks after it launched. It has since garnered over 85,000 followers.It now serves as a poignant reminder that each text we send day-in and day-out, no matter how silly or inconsequential, could tragically all-of-the-sudden be our very last.This is not the first Tumblr project that Emily has started that’s anchored around anonymous messages of digital longing and heartbreak. Earlier in 2015, Emily launched My Dear Blank, asking people to submit letters to a loved one that they didn’t have the courage to send in real-life. Both of Emily’s Tumblr projects will be collected as gift books and published in the coming months. My Dear (Blank): Secrets We Never Sent will be out in November, and The Last Message Received will hit stores in January 2017.
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A tech + travel + culture writer in San Francisco, I’ve written for Vice, Rolling Stone, Wired, National Geographic Traveler and Refinery 29.
I’ve interviewed Richard Branson, reported live from The Flaming Lips’ 24-hour psychedelic rock tour and spent 48 hours lost in the Yosemite wilderness.
Currently, I’m working on a novelization of this blog.