On Feb. 10, U.S. officials confirmed the death of Kayla Mueller. Her captors, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), claimed she had been killed in a Jordanian air strike; the truth may never be known. It is certain, however, that Mueller’s own words will live on. In a letter she wrote from captivity in spring 2014 and released now by her family, Mueller insisted she would not give up. Here is an excerpt:
If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through … None of us could have known it would be this long but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes. I wrote a song some months ago that says, “The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left …” a.k.a.–The thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength. Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.
All my everything, Kayla
This appears in the February 23, 2015 issue of TIME.
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