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Young Black man with autism who lost his mom to COVID dedicates a heartfelt letter to her

He misses his mom so much. Since her passing, he has learned so many things that he wanted to share them with her.

Young Black man with autism who lost his mom to COVID dedicates a heartfelt letter to her
Cover Image Source: CBC Documentaries

Out of the millions people who died due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was a mother of a young teen named Leymo. At that time, Leymo was 17 years old. He was left alone with his sister in 2020, with no source of income to survive on. On top of that, Leymo had to go through the struggles of being an autistic Black man. He didn’t fit in. But gradually, he figured it out. And two years later, he dedicated a heartfelt letter to his mom that was adapted into an animated documentary titled “Love, Leymo.”

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Burst
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Burst

In this stirring short film released in May 2023 by CBC Documentaries, Leymo Mohammed, now a filmmaker and aspiring actor, reads his heartbreaking letter to his late mother, telling her about his struggles, his goals and the lessons he has learned. The documentary has been directed by Randall Okita, and produced by Leymo and his girlfriend Amita Zamaana.


At the beginning of the documentary, he says that he wants to share his struggles as a 20-year-old man with autism, trying to support himself without his biggest advocate, his mother. Leymo’s mother was a personal support worker in St. James Town, Toronto. “I want everyone to know that everyone’s life is not perfect. It’s not like how you see on social media or TV, because those are just fairy tales.”

Representative Image source: Pexels | Photo by Daniel Reche
Representative Image source: Pexels | Photo by Daniel Reche

He begins his visual letter by addressing his mother, “Dear mom, I can’t believe it’s been two years since you’ve been gone. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about you and miss you. Mom, if you were here right now, you’d be so proud of the things I am doing.” He then goes on to describe how he is a first-year student of a broadcasting and television program.


He says that his professors are very nice and treat him like a normal teenager, and the students too approach him to hang out with them. Talking about how he survived his mother’s death, the man says, “I have to support myself now. So I went around and got a job. I am working at a movie theatre.” He explains that although he doesn’t get free popcorn, he does get free movie tickets which is a pretty big win for someone who loves movies.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Joanjo Puertos
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Joanjo Puertos

He says that he tries to be a good elder brother to his little sister Biffu. He tells his mom about his girlfriend Amita, whom he talks to almost every day. There is also a mention of a childhood friend Michael, who helps him when he needs someone the most.


He elaborates on his everyday struggles, from self-taping as an actor to living around as a Black man. “Sometimes I think we can’t win against this world. Life is so frustrating when everyone is against you and nobody is listening. It is so hard to not react and just keep quiet. I feel like I’m gonna explode,” he speaks, pouring his heart out. His emotional expression was further enhanced by the colorful illustrations and animations that the documentary depicted.

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In the next part of the video, Leymo tells his mom about one of his childhood passions - The Wiggles. His mom always supported him to be a fan. Despite being on a shoestring, she would take him to Wiggles concerts. “The Wiggles recently did a show in Toronto. They invited me on the stage to perform your favorite song ‘Taba Naba,’” he informs her.


He wraps up the letter with kind words for his mom, “I miss you to death like you were everything to me.” In Leymo's words, she was his biggest supporter and it was tragic how COVID took her away from him. “You don’t have to worry about me anymore, I am going to be okay. I’m going to find a way. I have support. I am learning a lot about myself and my place in the world. I’m figuring it out in my own way. Nobody can ever fill your shoes. But there are people out there doing their best. I promise that I will continue to be the kind-hearted young man that you raised.”


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