Singing Voicemails

Posted on June 11, 2018

by Jennifer D

Have you ever saved a voicemail for eight years? I have, and I think it’s possible that many of us have a saved voicemail or two, it’s just not something we talk about. Before my mom passed away, she would call me every morning around 8:15 and we would talk before I left for work. Then, that tradition ended. One of her voicemails lived on…a long time. Listen up, NPR, because I am envisioning a great radio program that plays these saved voicemails. With context, there’s tons of heart in those messages, and it seems that all of us are grasping for any type of “heart,” empathy, real human contact…at least those are the buzz words I see on social media that we use to remind each other we are, indeed, human.

My mom was once human, then she passed away far too young. I was 4 months pregnant with my first child, and that voicemail was the only tangible thing I had left of a woman who would have made the best grandma in the world, but never had the chance. I listened to the voicemail every 3 weeks, or 28 days, or whatever the time period was for my cell carrier to remind me to either delete or save the message, and I did it for eight years.

Sometimes after listening to it, I would say to myself, “Yes, that certainly came at the perfect time,” always hoping I never pressed seven by accident, sending my last remnant into deleted oblivion. Does a voicemail make a sound if no one is there to hear it?

It has been over ten years since my mom passed this past April 4th. I was reminded of this voicemail recently because my 93 year old grandma, (my mom’s mom), passed away on March 4th. My cousin mentioned she had a voicemail of my grandma singing her Happy Birthday saved on her phone. My grandma was a spectacular soprano…simply beautiful, and she sang until she was 91. Since she passed, I catch myself singing to myself more. Never close to what she could do, not by miles, but the song makes me feel a bit lighter. So, this is why I share this story with you, dear reader. Grieving is important. Don’t let anyone tell you different, and we all do it in a different way. As a librarian, I wanted to pass along some good books that may help you when your time comes to grieve.

Around 8 million Americans grieve the death of a loved one each year …

The Psychological Aspects of Dealing With Death

I wasn't ready to say goodbye : surviving, coping, and healing after the sudden death of a loved one / Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye : Surviving, Coping and Healing after the Sudden Death of a Loved One” by Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair

Each year about eight million Americans suffer the death of someone close to them. “I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye” provides survivors with a rock-steady anchor from which to weather the storm of pain and begin to rebuild their lives.

Also available in eBook and eAudio.

I couldn’t think of anything worse than losing a child …

Comfort : a journey through grief / Ann Hood

Comfort: A Journey Through Grief” by Ann Hood

A moving and remarkable memoir about the sudden death of a daughter, surviving grief and learning to love again.

Amy Morin explains that the person that passed away probably wouldn’t want you to be sad. So, on that person’s death date, celebrate by doing something fun in her/his honor. Here is her book:

13 things mentally strong people don't do : take back your power, embrace change, face your fears, and train your brain for happiness and success / Amy Morin

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” by Amy Morin

A psychotherapist describes how mentally strong people focus on the positive to overcome life’s challenges and offers practical strategies to combat the 13 negative, but common, habits that can derail happiness and hold people back from success.

Also available in Audio, eBook and eAudio.

I so wish this blog was interactive so I could hear your recommendations. Is a reader there even if she doesn’t respond?

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