ago I lost my son, Joseph. He died by suicide just after his
21st birthday. He and I lived together, but his sisters had
already grown up and moved away. We are a close and loving
family. Joe and I talked about God and life quite a lot -
simple, basic beliefs. I think he was depressed and lost his
happiness with life. When he was 18, he supported four children
through the Christian Children's Fund because he felt bad
that there were little kids who were hungry.
About a month after he left, things began to happen.
> I came back from a neighbor's house one day, and the
clock on the stove was an hour ahead. It's the only time in
the five years I lived there that that happened and I noticed
it right away.
> Also, the TV started turning itself on. I marked these
incidents on a calendar.
> One night, I went into the house and Joe's picture with
his sisters was on the computer screen. There was no program
open and no icons on the screen. I have about 60 pictures
in my pictures folder but this one was opened up. It was very
unusual to have any picture come up alone without the program
> The health care company called, and asked if Joe was
there. On the answering machine a voice said "no."
Then the caller asked if anyone else was there who they could
talk to, and the voice said "no." It was all recorded
on the machine when I came home from work. It sounded like
a person using a voice box who had throat problems.
> Another time I came downstairs and was by the laundry
table. The steel frame for hanging clothes had about ten hangers
on it, but only one was swinging back and forth all by itself.
There were no open windows, just one hanger moving, noticeably.
I sat there and watched, because by this time I wasn't surprised
I would "talk" to Joe while I was home and tell
him I was not angry with him, but that I missed him. One of
the last times the TV came on, I sat down across the room
and said, "You know, this is kind of crazy. The TV comes
on and I think it's you. How do I know it really is you and
the TV isn't just going on by itself?" At that moment,
the set turned off.
I believe he wanted me to know he was sorry and he was able
to get my attention to let me know. I believe if I asked him
today if he was signaling me through the TV, it might come
on again. But I don't believe I should do this as he may be
moving away from his life here, and that probably is for the
best, for him.
Jan. 18, 2010