Laurel Griggs was more than just a rising star of the stage and screen.
On Monday, days after it was announced that the Broadway actress died at the age of 13, her grandfather, David B. Rivlin, shared a touching poem about acceptance that she’d written for a friend.
“I want to share with you, a poem she wrote to her friend,” he wrote on Facebook, alongside a photo of the poem. “Laurel was a scholar more than an actress and society can only dream of what a difference she would have made if her life continued.”
The poem, titled “Society Is Wrong,” is an encouraging reminder to embrace yourself for who you are instead of trying to “be perfect.”
“Why do we feel we must meet society’s expectations for us?” the poem begins, before listing a variety of ways people can be made to feel less than. “Why do I feel like I’ll never be smart enough, or kind enough? Why do I feel like in order to be accepted I must skip a meal or such in my stomach? Why do I feel like I need to prove something to other people instead of myself?”
However, as Griggs points out, “the truth is no one is perfect.”
“If perfect is your goal, you will never achieve it. What you can do is remember being yourself is good enough,” the poem continues. “Don’t change the way…you look, you act, you feel, that’s what separates you from the 7 billion people on this Earth.”
As the poem comes to a close, the teenager wisely reminds anybody reading the poem that “the people that make you feel this way aren’t good enough for you.”
Griggs’ family confirmed she died on Nov. 5 in New York City after suffering a “massive asthma attack,” according to Page Six. The teenager was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, her grandfather told the outlet. Doctors were unable to revive her.
“The world lost a real princess who only wanted to make the future happy for all,” Rivlin said on Sunday in a Facebook post.
Griggs made her Broadway debut at age 6 as Polly in Rob Ashford’s production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 2013, opposite Scarlett Johansson. She is best known for her role as Ivanka in the Tony Award-winning musical Once, which she performed for 17 months between 2013 and 2015.
Actress Eliza Holland Madore, who also played Ivanka in Once, paid tribute to Griggs on Instagram, writing, “I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of one of my Ivanka sisters.”
“Laurel- you were always smiling and always made other people laugh,” she continued. “I’m so incredibly grateful that I got to know you. You will never be forgotten, and we will never stop loving you. Everybody in the Once Family is going to keep you alive through us. R.I.P. My heart goes to her family.”
The website Young Broadway Actors News also shared a tribute to the actress.
“Laurel was a brilliant young lady whose impact in the lives of everyone she met went far beyond her immense talent. Her wisdom and kindness were gifts to the theatre community during her time on Earth,” a post on the site read.
Outside of Broadway, Griggs appeared in the 2016 romantic comedy Cafe Society alongside Steve Carell, Blake Lively and Kristen Stewart. She was also featured in several episodes of Saturday Night Live.