In January, Sachi Nakamura, from Chicago, Illinois, received two envelopes addressed to her and her daughter, Miho. Miho died in 2016, at the age of 21 from stomach cancer.
In the envelopes were two letters, written by her daughter, to her future self.
Miho wrote the letters as part of her English class at school and was supposed to get the letters back when was 19 and another when she was 22, but her teacher had passed away in 2013, before the letters were sent out. Sachi believes someone recently found them and put many classes worth of letters in the mail.
Sachi told BuzzFeed News that, after taking time off from college for depression, Miho was studying at the University of Illinois when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer in April 2015.
She says when she opened the letters, which she wasn't expecting, and read the words, "Dear Miho," she was shocked.
While reading through the letter, Sachi said she could see her daughter growing up, but also the first signs of her depression.
"The first letter she wrote when she was 15 was more upbeat and fun. But the one she wrote when she was 17 had a sign of distress. She was struggling and trying to make it though," she said. "In both letters, she was talking about her future aspirations and hopes. All her aspirations and hope never came to realized. That breaks my heart. Yet so many people came to me and told me how she impacted their lives. Even though her life was short and a struggle, she still lived a full life. I am very proud of her."
Sachi shared the surprise on her Facebook, where many people commented to say they also had received their letters.
Sachi also told BuzzFeed that she agreed with commenters who'd called the occurrence a "gift from God."
"I agree with them. While it is bittersweet, I was very happy to receive something from her life, 10 months after her passing. It is particularly special because Mr. Wall is also gone," she said. "When I think about it, it is not that miraculous...but receiving them made me happy."
This post was translated from Japanese.