Elderly Widow Learns Korean Alphabet, Writes to Dead Husband

A widow in her seventies wrote a letter to her husband

A heart-warming story of a 75 year-old widow learning how to write Korean has been doing the rounds on Facebook. The elderly citizen recently learned how to read and write Hangul [the Korean alphabet] at the ‘Culture and Athletic Center of Namhae County‘. The center held a writing contest for elderly citizens who have just learned how to write Hangul. For the contest, the widow, Ms Park Sang-yup, wrote a letter [above photo] to her deceased husband and won a prize. Her story was so impressive that one of the local newspapers put it in print.

A catastrophic war, rapid development and widespread urbanisation means it is not that unusual for some of the older generation to not be able to read or write Korean. Interested in learning yourself? Check out this webtoon.

From Facebook:

To You in Heaven

Today, I call your name with a broken heart. It has been 55 years since you left. You said you’d be back soon, but you’re nowhere to be seen ’til this day. You can’t imagine how our family’s lives have been. Your parents passed away and our then-4 month old son is now a bank branch manager in Busan. He’s on the right path in life. It was difficult to live off of our small plots of land, so I worked hard to educate our son, selling things at Jagalchi Market. How have you been for last 55 years? Will we recognise each other when we meet? One day, when I follow your path to heaven, please find me. Take care, until the day we’re reunited.

November 8th

Your wife.

Comments from Facebook:


ㅠㅠ It’s so sad.. I can actually feel her emotion. . It’s gut-wrenching..ㅠㅠ


My eyes are watering.


This is so sad…

강누리 :

What a heart-warming story ㅠㅠ

Soojung Kim:

OMG ㅠㅠ

Jeong Kwangnam :

Oh..ma’am.. You are quite a woman.. How you must have wanted to learn how to write..ㅠㅠ

Dmitry Je :

This is so sad… I’m glad her son is doing well 

Hyunjoo Kim:

I’m so moved by this story ㅠㅠ My eyes are watering~

Britney Challs:

It’s so sad.. Tears are falling down my face like rain.

Dohyung Kim:

I really ‘like’ this story.

Se-yeong Jeong:

I’m actually crying ㅠㅠ

YoungHae Park:

*Crying* ㅠㅠ

Yoo Martin Seung Ho:

Ahh…. ㅠㅠ  It reminds me of when my grandmother learned Hangul. It was SO touching when she first wrote a letter to me, ‘Eat your meal before you leave.’

Jong Wook Kim :

THIS is love…


Grandma, you rock!!

Sunghwan Cho :


Kyunghee Kim :

This is REAL LOVE… We shouldn’t use the word lightly…

Jungsoo Kim

Oh! I’m in the office, working extra hours and crying!!

Bomiee Park:

ㅠㅠ Ah…This is gut-wrenching..

Lucy Kim:

Late in the night, crying


Wow… This story is something… It makes me cry..

Kino Lee:

I can feel that this is how married couples are supposed to be…

김종현 :

I’m barely holding my tears back.. I hope she lives a long and healthy life..

추현우 :

The weight of the word, love..

Sangkook Lee :

Wow~ She’s lived quite a life, lost her husband in her twenties..?

김현경 :

Her ‘Han’ and sorrow towards the past are so palpable..

이주형 :

Ah, I’m crying ㅠㅠ I wish you happiness, ma’am!

Sora Lee :

Isn’t there a possibility that she lost her husband during the Korean War, considering phrases like, ‘You said you’d be back soon’, ‘Take care, until the day we’re reunited’.

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