Another fifty people have joined the Wall in the past week...we've got enough for a zombie walk!
Did anyone catch the program Dead in the Family that ran on one of the news networks the other night? It was a profile of three families with who have dealt with the death and return of a child. Two of the families did not take their zombie child back while the third did. The program was fairly well done, and I think there was a lot to be learned from one the people profiled had to say, no matter which side of the issue you come down on.
I'm going to transcribe excerpts from the interviews over the next few days.
Dead in the Family, Excerpt One
The first excerpt was conducted with the "Joneses", "Steve" and "Erin" (not their real name), from Verona, Wisconsin. The Joneses look to be in their early forties, moderately well off (He has an IT job in Madison, she has a local state job). Their sixteen year old son "Rick" was killed in a car crash and returned as a zombie the next day. The interview is conducted in their house, which looks to be a comfortable upper middle class suburban home. They have another boy, "Steven Jr.", age 13. The camera occasionally pans to show him tossing a ball with a large golden retriever in the back yard. The woman conducting the interview is never shown and the camera remains fixed on the couple except for these few shots of the boy and his dog.
How did your son die?
Steve: Rick was killed in a car accident, along with two other boys, his best friends. They were on their way to a party. (pauses). Alcohol was involved.
Was Rick driving?
Steve: No, one of the other boys was. Josh. All three were drinking, though. (Pauses)He and Rick were co-captains of the school's wrestling team.
(His wife, Erin has begun to cry)
When did Rick come back?
Steve:(With irritation) That's the wrong term. I hate it when people use that term.
I'm sorry. What word do you mean?
Steve: "Come back." Rick didn't "come back". Rick left the moment he and his friends hit the parked car.
I'm not sure I understand.
Steve: Look, there's no such thing as "coming back". When someone dies, they die. Whatever those...those...zombies are, it isn't someone's deceased child returning from the dead. It is something else entirely. I think you people have to stop planting this false hope in people's minds.
Something else? What?
Steve: (Folds arms. Erin is drying her eyes with tissues) I've got no idea. All I know is that it isn't our children. And when you say "coming back", it makes us out to be the monsters, like we abandoned our children or something. But that thing was not our son.
Erin: We knew as soon as we saw him.
Could you tell us about the first time you saw him after the car crash?
Steve: It was the day after the crash. The call we'd been dreading came from the hospital the day after the crash, and the woman that called us said the same thing you said; "Your son has come back". Like we were supposed to be happy about it, or something. They told us to come down to get him. So we...
Excuse me. We?
Steve: Yes. Erin and I.
You didn't bring your other son. Steven Jr.?
Steve: No. Why would we?
Erin: He...the body had been damaged in the accident.
Steve: We didn't want our son to have nightmares for the rest of his life. Which he'll probably have, anyway. When we got to the hospital they brought us to this room in the basement. The zombie was there. They'd put a hospital gown on it.
Erin: His arm was broken. And his face...
Steve: They'd cleaned the body up some, but not entirely. (Pauses) I think it is disgraceful, what these people put us through. Bad enough that we have to live through the trauma of our son's death--now they want us to have to see that...that mockery of him? And they barely even clean it up first? It isn't right. It isn't right at all. (Pauses). They're lucky we don't sue them. I'm thinking that we should.
What went through your mind when you saw the zombie?
Steve: That it wasn't my son. That it wasn't my son at all.
I'll post the second part of the excerpt with "The Jones" in a few days.