Dear Elena

Hope and Sadness


  • Unfinished Business

  • What to Say to Mourners

  • On Choosing a Wife

  • Two Religions

  • Newspaper Announcement

  • Sisters

  • Why No Pictures

  • Not Moving

  • Writer's Block

  • Why

  • If Elena Were With Us

  • Maggie Rose

  • A Call from Above

  • One Days

  • ... and more


This is a book about a happy and healthy six year old.

The book begins the day after she died.

That morning, the morning after his youngest daughter died suddenly and unexpectedly, Daniel Steinberg created a blog to help him through this painful time.

For years, people all over the world have written to say that the stories have made them better friends, partners, and parents. They write that they value the time they have with others because, after reading the essays, they understand that nothing is guaranteed,

This book covers the time between Elena’s death and the day, four months later, that she would have finished first grade. There are stories about Elena, her family, and friends. But mostly, it is the journey of a grieving father trying to find his way.