Tag: Father

Dead son dreams of calling his father

What do you expect, being born on Friday the 13th? That was my fate without me knowing it and the madness that followed, followed the madness that followed the madness.

The shrinks had their own name for it but I called it a babbling hell of diabolical voices. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. They put me on Chlorpromazine and a bunch of other mindbuckers, but I had the last laugh. I took enough Amobarbital and Secobarbital to kill myself three times over.

The first time hadn’t worked and I wanted to be sure the next time. I was “determined that there should be as little imprecision as possible,” as my dad’s favorite writer William Saroyan wrote in ‘The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.’

I hated doing it to my crazy father, and I wondered as I spun off into oblivion what would happen to him. I didn’t know if my death would do him in or not, but I suspected he would survive. He told me when he visited me in Ward 3C after my first suicide attempt, “I hope you don’t try this again, Will, because I don’t know if I can survive another one — and I’m into survival.”

My sparse response at the time was, “It’s good that you know about yourself.”

After some rocky years when I was a kid when my dad and my mother got divorced, we had a pretty good relationship at the end. Eccentric was the shrink’s word for it. Fragile was another. But despite our past differences and difficulties, we made contact on several occasions in the last couple of years. Times when we really understood one another and wrote many letters back and forth signed with the big L.

I kept all of the letters he wrote to me, and now he has them again, and I know he kept mine, although I don’t know if he can bring himself to read them. He’s a very emotional guy.

There were many times when we would drive each other crazy, but finally, now, in retrospect, I loved him and I know he loved me.

My suicide was a shock to all concerned, even though I tried it once before when I was diagnosed with this goddamned mental illness. 

At the end I gave everyone a false sense of security, to throw them off the track, to prevent them from stopping me. I had just one thought and that was to take those barbiturates I had bought on the street with my last hundred bucks and to get the hell out of this world. I was on “the wrong earth,” to quote Saroyan again.

You know what I’d love to do? I’d love to be able to tap into the Internet or into the phone lines or whatever and call my dad. As in life, I’d have to make it a collect call.

I know it can’t be done, but man, I’d love to do that. I’d tell him I’m sorry for hurting him by killing myself but I could see no other way to escape the voices, and I’d tell him that I’m at peace now and that I’ll love him through all eternity.

Even if I could figure out a way to do that, I couldn’t really do it. I mean, when he picked up the phone and heard my voice, he’d think he had gone mad. Who wouldn’t in a similar situation?


 

All Souls’ Day

The father thought about Ward 3C, the last place he had seen his son alive before the boy’s suicide.

His thoughts turned to the time his watch — an expensive gold Seiko his second wife had given him a few months earlier — stopped at 10:52 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2.

It was the day after Will’s funeral. His father was in a hotel room in Toronto, yelling in his Xanax and beer bewilderment that he was going to “get” the psychiatrist who had released Will from Ward 3C, perhaps before he should have.

In a black notebook in which he’d been keeping a record of past events the father angrily wrote: AINSLEY! THURSDAY! Apparently to confront the psychiatrist the next day and — do what? Threaten him? Kill him?

And that’s when the sweep second hand on his Seiko stopped dead. The batteries were supposed to last up to four years — he had been guaranteed this — and yet they gave out at that precise moment. Why then, at that very second?

The father considered the possibility that Will or Will’s spirit had stopped the watch because of what he had been yelling about the psychiatrist, knowing, as Will now possibly did, that he was on the wrong track, that it wasn’t Ainsley’s fault, or anyone’s fault.

The next day the father put the question to his ex-wife. She was a Catholic and had a belief that he envied. “Do you think Will stopped the watch because I was threatening to do something to the psychiatrist?”

“That’s possible,” she said. “But more likely, 10:52 p.m. Wednesday was the moment Will ascended to Heaven.”

The father was about as irreligious as you could get, but he liked the way his ex-wife’s mind worked.

“That was All Souls Day,” she said, “when Christians pray for the souls who are being purified in purgatory so they may enter Heaven.” The funeral had been held the day before, so it made sense, even to a pagan.

The father never got his watch fixed. It was a valuable clue, a historical artifact. He’d never tamper with stuff like that. It was found in his apartment after his own death, still frozen at 10:52.


Excerpted from original story:

Permalink: https://billmichelmore.com/a-place-to-heal/


 

The afterlife: Riding the wave

One man’s incredible communication with his dead son

The man is alone in bed when his cell phone rings. He flips it open. “Don’t freak out,” a voice says, “I’ll explain.”

Good advice from the get-go because the man thinks he is going mad. He sits upright in bed. His heart suddenly goes into overdrive. It’s his son’s voice on the phone. His son died eighteen months earlier at the age of twenty-three.

The man is going into a state of shock. His heart races. His face feels like it’s on fire. He’s either having a panic attack or a heart attack.

“Will?! This can’t be happening! Who the hell is this? Is this a gag?” And then more to himself: “I must be going insane.”

”You’re not going insane,” his son’s voice says. “Just listen to me, please, I’ll explain.”

“You died, I was there, you’re dead.”

”Yes — and no. Listen to me now.”

”Where the hell are you?”

”Certainly not in hell.” His son rapidly explains that he is using an undiscovered wave in the electromagnetic spectrum to tap into his father’s phone.

“This is madness—“ his father starts to say.

“Dad, please, I don’t know how long I can keep this connection. Let me say this as fast as I can. As to where I am, that’s a difficult question. I’m not even sure myself. I call it a state of wave-being—“

“What are you talking about?”

“Let me get this out. Think of waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. Over the years, humans have managed to capture some of the invisible waves — radio and television waves, microwaves, ultraviolet, x-rays, gamma rays, but there are immeasurably more out here that humans can’t see or catch. I’m one of those waves. Call it yet another undiscovered wave.”

“Jesus Christ,” his father manages to say.

“No Jesus Christ so far,” his son replies with a little laugh. “No sign of anything like that, just an incredible cerebral sensation of being part of the universe. Like a dream. I can see it all…“

Sudden static on the line. “Will,” his father says, “are you still there?”

”Barely,” his son’s voice crackles back. “Losing this connection. Dad, you remember my favorite song in those last days?”

”I’ll never forget — ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper,’ Blue Oyster Cult.”

Static increases. “Dad, real quick, I’ve got to tell you. We will be together, riding this wave.”

Static gets worse. “Will?”

”Losing it. Dad, one last thing.”

”Yes?”

”Don’t fear the reaper.”

Line goes dead. “Will? Will, are you still there? Have I lost you? Hello? Will?”

The man keeps the phone pressed to his ear and listens to the silence.

Don’t Fear the Reaper

EARLIER STORY HERE