The *R family was overwhelmed with the loss of a loved one. *Franky R had died in Southern California suddenly. *Franky was only forty years old, a retired Army officer, a businessman in good health, and the father to four children. His death by accidental poisoning left the family shaken. The story they heard was that his wife had left some tranquilizers in an over-the-counter pain reliever bottle and he had taken four of them by mistake. He had then drank a good deal and passed out. He never woke up again.
No one was more upset than *Franky's mother. She was devastated by the news. The family watched helplessly as she sank into a deep depression. She began to loose weight and she seemed to loose the life within herself. Her daughters grew more concerned by the day as she seemed to shrink away from them.
The oldest daughter, *Maggie came in one day and found that her mother was sitting still just staring at the wall. She held the telephone in her hand. *Maggie had to shake her mother before the woman noticed her.
"What's wrong, mother?" *Maggie asked with concern.
Mother turned wondering eyes toward her daughter. "You'll never believe who was on the phone," Mother whispered in awe.
*Maggie guessed a couple guesses but Mother shook her head impatiently. "No, it was *Franky. *Maggie your brother just called me. He said, 'I'm okay Mom.' What do you make of that?"
*Maggie froze. Was her mother crazy? "Mom, Franky's dead," she began softly.
Mother froze, pinning her with an angry gaze. "I know that. I'm not daft, but none the less he did call me. It was his voice and that's all he said. His exact words were, 'Mom it's Franky. I'm okay Mom.'"
*Maggie took the phone away and hung it up. Was it possible? Her mother had never been prone to imagination before. Could it be...
Something inside Mother seemed to shift after she got that phone call. She began to eat again and she began to live life once more. She told her children that she knew she had grieved so hard that *Franky was worried about her. She still grieved for *Franky, but the grief was not the same after she had received that phone call.
There are times when we can grieve too hard and hold the dead here on earth. I think that perhaps that is one of the reasons why Gettysburg is so haunted. The nation transferred its grief to that little town. I have heard countless stories of people who received notice from family members that their grief was holding them back. I have even had spirits tell me that they were waiting because a loved one was hurting too much. It is important that we remember that we must release our loved ones so they can move on. We won't forget them, but we will also not forget to live in this world while we can. For the mother in this story, her son reached out from the dead to let her know that he was well so she could return to the living. What a gift he gave.