Today's excerpt from the Dead in the Family features an interview with the "Utleys" (not their real name) Jeff and Rachael. Unlike the parents interviewed in the previous segments, the Utleys have taken their zombie son Joshua back in. They have two older boys, Albert and Paul.
How did your son die?
Jeff: Joshua died in an accident at summer camp. He died in a fall from a tree.
Did he become a zombie immediately?
Jeff: He came back a little over two days after his death.
That must have been difficult, waiting to see if he would return.
Rachael: It was awful. They wouldn't release his body from the hospital.
Jeff: Five days. They will wait five days now. The longest until rising is five days.
How did they notify you?
Rachael: A doctor came to the waiting room to tell me.
You were at the hospital?
Rachael: One of us was there the entire time they held him there. Jeff had just left to check on the boys.
What was going through your mind when the doctor told you? Were you happy?
Rachael: Of course I was.
What did you think when you saw him?
Rachael: (tearing) All I could think was how lucky I was that I was able to tell my son how much I loved him again, so that was what I did.
Did he look any differently to you?
Jeff: (handing tissues to his wife) Of course he did. He couldn't talk, and he could barely walk. It was like the left side of his body had been paralysed at first. He didn't blink. And he had terrible wounds on his chest and abdomen. (Smiles). But who cares how he looked? Or that he was slow? He was back, that was all that mattered.
Rachael: He was smiling again in two months.
Jeff: Two months! Some differently biotic kids are lucky if they are expressing themselves within a year after their deaths.
So you didn't have any reservations about taking Joshua back in? No question about whether he was really your son?
Jeff: (waves hand) None whatsoever. Look, I'm not going to say it wasn't difficult. But the difficulties we had to deal with were societal--many of our neighbors were not thrilled about Joshua coming home. As though we were supposed to turn him out of our home just because he was different!
Rachael: It was hard seeing him that way. It was hard knowing that he was going to have a much different...time with things now that he was dead. He would get frustrated. He missed his friends, many of whom were forbidden to play with him now. And I'd watch him as he watched his brothers playing basketball in the driveway. They would include him, but it wasn't the same. He used to be quite the player.
Jeff: But to answer your initial question--what I think you were questioning, anyhow--there was no question that he was our son. I've read everything that's come out on the topic and I really have to wonder what is going on in the heads of parents who deny their children when they become differently biotic. It really makes me wonder about people in general.
I'll post more of the interview with the Utleys in a few days.