Monday, January 26, 2009

Dead in the Family

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.


malia massacre said...

thats horrible
he's still your son
no matter what he looks like
i feel sorry for that kid.

l!zz.(: said...

that's soo horrible. i mean, if i had a son or somebody that died i would soo happy that they came back. i wouldn't be freaking out. well, he must've looked scary though. anyway i do feel sorry for him to. i mean he's still related to you what are they gonna do. put him jup for adoption?

Megan Perry said...

oh man that really sucks to be that kid. I really hope his parents treat him better.

Stuck_in_the_world_of_the_Living said...

For all intensive purposes he is still their son. Their son's body, their son's memories, their son's thoughts, and most definitely their son's feelings. How can you turn away your flesh and blood as if you never loved them? This family is letting their son fend for himself in a world that would rather see him dead. His family would rather see him dead. I must commend the one family in the program who took their son back with open arms and open hearts.

People just need to stop being bioticists..{is that a word?}


samantha_secret<3 said...

My Gran died, and if she came back, I could care less if her organs worked or if she could talk fast. Although, she was a slow talker to begin with. I would just want to beable to hug her again and comb her hair. No questions asked, everyone deserves to be loved :)

Unknown said...

that's terrible.i think that it's horrible that they were calling their son a zombie in such a derogatory way.i mean, i know that you,tommy, and karen and everyone else refer to yourselves as zombies but the way poor ''rick's'' parents were saying it...its sad.sure,he would look different but..what.are you going to disown your flesh and blood?

Paris said...

sigh, I feel sorry for all of them, but I wonder how the parents could say something like that? It just doesn't seem right to me...

lzz said...

I feel bad for the poor kid. First he dies, then his family doesn't want him :'(. I hope he is okay...

But to me, calling him "zombie" the way the dad did, that makes him sound like he is some kind of freak. To me, if he comes back you should at least be happy a little, Take Collette for example. She came back and no one but Tommy took her in. Sure people would be scared, but I am sure the DB's might be a little scared, too, they came back from death!

I hope "Rick" can at least go to a shelter or someones house, he should have a roof over his head and a bed to... not sleep on. How could that guy call his own son those horrible names, it is still his son, he is just a zombie now instead of being alive. What a jerk.

xscreenagerx said...

that is completely horrible.
i mean...even if it doesnt look like your son he still is. you should love him either way. those people who take in their kids that 'come back' are brave, and those that dont are cowards.

Anonymous said...

dude how can people be so calloused? That is so messed up. Can't this "Steve" character be glad that he has a second chance with his son? Good gosh what is our world coming too?

Krystal said...

That's so incredibly, incredibly sad! Poor Rick! What's going to happen to him?

I think this interview provides good insight on how frightened some people are by the whole 'coming back' thing. Scientifically, no one has a clue yet about why or how it's happening, and generally speaking people are always afraid of change and the unknown. Both together are just going to throw everyone into a panic (never a good thing!) like this family, who may have made a brash decision regarding their son due to their overwhelming fear.

I don't think we can blame this family, because they don't really know any better. It is obvious that they cared for Rick, because it was hard for them to speak about his death. I think that they really believed that Rick was not the same anymore, and I think that in their minds, they believe that they are doing the right thing.

And we can hardly blame them for that, can we?

I'm NOT saying they are doing the right thing. I'm saying that they might be confused but that they have tried to do the right thing.
And that's what really counts.

Anonymous said...

I can't beleive that the living can be so mean to the dead. I mean, it's not like the dead chose to come back, right? It's not like they want to hurt the people they love. Everyone is lokking on the dark side of all this instead of just realizing, "Wait. They all came back. Everyone I love has a chance to come BACK!" People can be so stuipid sometimes.

Sugar Loving Otaku said...

that is so sad? what kind of a person doesn't give their dead kid another chance?

RSoxy said...

I think that's a horrible thing to say about your son. Unless he's been possessed by the devil (in my opinon) then he will always be your son. And the BS about his problem with "coming back?" WTH! What do you want to call it, "rise of the undead?" that only makes it worse.

Unknown said...

I'm a "zombie" as they call me and I feel terrible when things like this happen, but I can't really blame anyone in this situation, either.

Yeah, I feel sorry for the kid. It wasn't his fault and he doesn't deserve to be treated this way, but you have to imagine what the parents went through too. I mean, yeah, the way they reacted could have played out differently- but they thought they had lost someone very dear to them, they were trying to cope with the grief, but at least they had closure. Then when he came back, they didn't really know how to react. They just happened to chose the way we don't "prefer" to put it kindly.

DairyArachnid said...

That's...horrible. They're not horrible it's just that it kind of sucks to know that if they gave him a chance, he'd improve and he might be able to be the son they had if they'd just let him back in their hearts.

Evernight87 said...

wow i find that so disturbing that they reject their own child.

Becca the Rainbow Monster said...

Even if that's unfair, and the dad sounds like a man with his head shoved so far up his rear end he's tasting last night' dinner, this actually give i guess 'fair' idea of what those who have undead kids are going through. Especially with those whose bodies are worse for wear. I would thing, no matter how hard you could miss some one or plead to have them back, some people wont see the post-dead as their loved one's they lost.
To see some one you care about so dearly, bloodied and broken, their flesh torn and hanging from their body, is probably really hard to handle. I would guess some could only think ‘No, this broken person isn’t mine, they are not my child. This corpse is not the one I loved.’
It’s not fair. Not for the kid, who is post-death and probably suffering some sort of trauma, to then be thrown aside like a broken toy. Not for the parent, who feels like god is mocking them by sending back the hollowed, contorted image of their child.
But being the parent, they should accept responsibility for their offspring, who needs them now more than ever. Life’s not fair, we all should have learned that by now, and the father, despite the pain I know he is feeling, needs to shut his face and swallow his righteousness. He may not be a monster that he’s being made out to be, but he sure as hell isn’t being the father he’s expected to be.

Yazzeh said...

That's awful..

how could parents say that, about their own child?

Unheard Of said...

what a load of bullspit.
that dude was probably neglected as a kid or something.

no one could be that heartless........
at least, i don't think so.

Anonymous said...

agh, that must have been awful! But, c'mon, the hospital could have at laest tried to make him a bit more presentable. I feel sorry for the whole family....

WhittneyAnn said...

I feel bad for that kid. how could his parents do that? do you think he will come to the Haunted House?
I know this question is totaly off topic but are you and Pheobe dating or are you to just good friends?


Bianca Wilde said...

they're making it sound like he's invasion of the body snatchers or something.
The correct answer to this would be
"Hello slower, colder, paler version of Rick!"
my version ends with a hug.
So there.
But nuggets.

ps. Big hug to Samantha. My condolences, sweeties. :)

Anonymous said...

That's rough.

Basketball Chicita said...

That is so sad.
What kind of parent would do that!
He is still thier kid.
It reminds me a little of what my parents acted like. =(
I hope that the kid does ok.
Lots of love,
Lilly Livingdead

Blue Rose said...

no one should do that to there child thats horible.
so he doesnt look the same big deal!!!
hes still has the same personality.

Blue Rose said...

no one should do that to there child thats horible.
so he doesnt look the same big deal!!!
hes still has the same personality.

Anonymous said...

That's awfu! If he hadn't died nad come back but had still been scarred in the accident, would they have just abandoned him on the street? That seems to be their logic. He looks a little different after the accident, so he's no longer their son? Stupid idiots! I mean, i know they were probably in pain about his death but he came back! That is a miracle, and saying he's not their son is just ignorant.
They are so Bioist! (Is that teh right word?)
I have lost loved ones, and i know others who have. Any of us would be joyful to have them return. I can sort of see their point of view, but their son needs them more than ever and they're just disowning him because he died? That is wrong. It is so, so wrong. Poor Rick. I hope this discrimination stops soon.

zombiechick93 said...

thats messed up no matter wat happens he is still ur son living impaired or not. i cant believe that they would judge him like that. i no that they were most likely upset that he was a DB but thats besides the point they should still love him and treat him like their son.

zombiechick93 said...

thats messed up no matter wat happens he is still ur son living impaired or not. i cant believe that they would judge him like that. i no that they were most likely upset that he was a DB but thats besides the point they should still love him and treat him like their son.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't make any sense at all! If their son had lived, but his face had been horribly scarred or something, would they have still abandoned him also?
I think that your child will always be your child... Even if they do die and come back as a 'zombie'.
My friends and I are thinking of making an 'Undead Supporters Club'. I think it would be a good idea, we already have a couple of people who said they would join in with us!
[Just to end on a happy note.]

Anonymous said...

That's absolutely terrible! It's not like he CHOSE to come back, how can humans be so cruel?! He's still there son.

And how does he want them to say that? "Hey Mr. Your son is back from the dead."? That's just rude, and well the Jones' son DID come back, he is there and they are treating him like he's the plauge! Humans bother me.

edwardandtommylover said...

thats wrong beyond levels i can explain it makes me want to cry i can't stand it he is still your son no matter what happens if he had stayed dead they still would have said "my son died" not "it died" i feel sorry for him my love goes out to him

but i can see why the parents would do that i would be in shock to but i think i would just go and hug him and not let go cause to me he is still my son no matter what happens i can't stand it when peopl abuse and take advantage of thier children
and they should have brought thier other son cause maby he would have seen him diffrent then the parents and had the parents come to their sense

RealisElastic said...

thats disgusting. if someone truly loved their son... they should accept them.. Thats all anyone needs anyway, just Love.

Anonymous said...

That's horrible! Those people are wrong, dead or not, that boy is their son, and should be treated respectfully! What do you think, Tommy?

Elisabeth Carlisle said...

That's horrible. But I couldn't help but think how funny it would be if they tried to get my family on there. Of course, they'd have to get Mom and Daddy in the same STATE as each other before they got them onto the same couch, and then the other four kids that went with Mom, and... oh, it would be funny.

Hope to see more of the updates soon, since we have no cable/satellite (and love it that way).

IceBabe said...

I think it's just wrong. He is their son and he's relatively still the same as he was before...maybe not exactly, but that shouldn't matter.

I feel somewhat ashamed that I live in a country with people like that.


Anonymous said...

That is terrible!! Why would someone do that? Expecially to their own kid. If/when i have a kid and he/she dies and comes back to life i would be soooo happy because when you loose someone it hurts terribly. God you do not KNOW how mad that makes me!

Leanna Crystal said...

:( sad.

Leanna Crystal said...

how sad. :(

Anonymous said...

It is wrong how someone who has died and came back to life can be treated that way Tommy I mean I know it's hard for the parents aswell having to deal with losing their kid and having the emotional scarring when he came back but even though no one alive or DB should have to go through being turned away by your own family it is so horrible I would never think of turning away my family, friends or anyone else if theycame back to life :(
-Black Wolf-
Ps: can't wait till next book the Kiss Of Life loved generation dead ^___^

Tommy Williams said...

Interesting comments. Animeface and Becca the Rainbow Monster have some good points, I think. Is there a way to educate parents before theri child becomes a zombie? Or is the only time that someone will face up to the situation is when their child actually becomes a zombie?


Tommy Williams said...


I agree with you, but what I'm not sure what we can do. You can't make someone love someone else...

...but there are many things we can do to remove fear and suspicion. Which might be a foundation for love, I don't know.


Becca the Rainbow Monster said...

Well, first things first, post-deaths need to be recognized as a minority. Then we can insert educational videos in health classes and other mandatory informational things.
Until then, how about youtube?
Seriously, I’m not kidding.
Make videos, get quotes. Give a real view of what it’s like to be dead in a living world. Dish out some facts, things that have been learned and things that are still a mystery.
Dissolve the ‘flesh eating’ myths and just give people something to look at, a different point of view.
Make it honest, that’s what breaks through the binds of society.
Try taking this blog to a next level- a youtube account.

Tommy Williams said...

Becca the Rainbow Monster--

YouTube account? Hmmm.


CatTheLight said...

That's just sad. . .
Even though he maybe a little altered, that IS your son. He is still human, he has a heart, lungs, liver, kidney, brain, ect. The only difference from Trads and Zombies are that they don't use there organs. So what? they speak slower, some special ed kids do as well, so they walk slower, some handiecaped kids do, so their paler, hey, that's the new look! but inside, deep down he's still the same kid when he was using the organs. He'll still like wresling, and any other thing that he really liked. it's just like rasisum between black and white colored people, only it's breathing against the unbreathing.
That's just sad. . . .

Dana said...

I've never understood why they don't except their children. I'd consider it a blessing. My best friend wanted to kill herself once, but she didn't thankfully. But if she had, I would've done just about anything to have her back.

I really think people need to stop watching Pet Cemetery because Stephen King's giving us zombies a bad image.

I'm mean, we aren't demon children wearing top hats and slitting peoples ankles. Ew. That movie gave me the I suppose I could understand where people are coming from. But that's fiction, not reality.

Nicole :'( said...

How can they say that's not their son? Okay so the shock of it would have been alittle much but still thats their kid! he's not old enough to be living on his own and yet they abandon him like he's a piece of garbage they can throw away and hope that no onw knows that it's there's, what kind of MONSTER would do that! and to top it off they publicaly announce what they have done like they should be accepted for there choice instead of shunned for it. people go threw horrible things and whatever it is when it happens to a kid it seems to end up being worse (in my mind anyway) and all i think about is at least their parents loved them or at least they did the best they could but i cant even think that anymore cause i know that i would be lying, these parents dreaded the call they knew was going to come and they went down to see THEIR SON to what??? tell him not to come home that must have been a pleasent convo "hey son i know you just died and everything and me and your mother are very sad but now that your heart has stopped we dont want to see you again so dont try to come home okay we dont want you to scare your brother ......bye."
If a parent could do something like that than they should be the ones getting stuff thrown at them cause to me a parent who could disregard their own child is the only thing in this world that people should hate and shun and beat and really just be scare of for being something dispicable (cause really how could you turn your bad on your own flesh and blood and have no consequence for such a heartless act)

Anonymous said...

It is their child, and they should wake up and see. I'm sorry but those are s*** parents. The kid died, and all he wants is his family. Those people are the real demons, not the zombies. Its a shame that they make the rest of us trads look like horrable monsters. They shouldn't had had kids in the first place, those fools don't desive a family.


P.S.: Sorry, but that's how I feel and that's what I've got to say, I'm not happy that such "productive members of siciety" would do such a disgraceful thing. Just had to get my anger out, sorry.