Friday, February 27, 2009

Death in the Family, Part 5

The final installment of the Dead in the Family transcripts, which features the second half of the interview with the "Utleys".

What was the hardest part about your son becoming a zombie?

Jeff: Everything about it was hard. Everything.

Rachael: It was difficult in so many ways.

Jeff: He wasn't allowed to attend school. We had friends--ha! "Friends" who ceased all contact with us immediately.

Rachael: It was painful, watching him struggle.

Jeff: I was harassed at work. Presents left on my desk. A dead squirrel draped on the hood of my car.

Rachael: (Looks at Jeff) I think the hardest thing of all was that his brothers were scared of him, at first.

They were scared of their brother?

Rachael: (Nods) And it hurt him, I know it did, even though he didn't show it. They were cruel about the way they treated him, not intentionally, but I knew they were avoiding him.

How did you help them get over their fear? Or could you?

Rachael: We were patient and didn't try to force acceptance. We tried to make it safe for them to talk about their feelings, while at the same time including Joshua in everything we did as a family. The interaction was helping Joshua regain some control, and as he "returned" in some ways, the boys were more comfortable being with him.

Jeff: The process fed itself.

Rachael: The boys had long talks with our rabbi as well, and that helped greatly. He has been incredibly supportive. It meant so much when others were turning us away.

Jeff: It's strange. Many people ran away, couldn't get away from us fast enough, but others stepped up. Neighbors. There was a petition to the school board to allow Joshua to attend school. And we won.

So Joshua is going back to school?

Rachael: We prefer to homeschool right now. (Looks at Jeff). We're considering moving to Connecticut.

Jeff: There's a program their with the Hunter Institute which fosters inclusion of differently biotic kids in public schools. We're considering it.

Do you have any advice for other families with differently biotic children?

Jeff: Read eveything you can on the subject. The bad and the good. Skip Slydell's books are great. (Laughs) But get the bad stuff at the library; don't give any of those jerks money.

Rachael: Forming a support group with other families with differently biotic children can be very powerful. We have two other families that we meet with on a regular basis in each other's homes, and we correspond with many others on the Internet.

Jeff: (Looks at Rachael, smiles) Rachael contributes to a parenting blogring where she writes about raising a differently biotic kid.

Rachael: I think the most important thing is to love your child. Never stop loving your child. No matter what he or she does, no matter what happens, he or she is still your child. They need your love and approval. Never forget that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dead in the Family, Part 4

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: Overjoyed!


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.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Horde-ing Friends

450 people up on the wall, some living, some zombies. Thank you for your support.

I'll post the third and final interview transcript from Dead in the Family in a couple days. I promise you a more positive experience than the previous excerpts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dead in the Family, Part 3

This continues my excerpting a program that ran a few weeks ago on television entitled Dead in the Family, where parents from three families were interviewed about their zombie children.

The following interview was with "Mrs. Smith". I'll warn you that this is perhaps the most shocking and horrifying of the three interviews, so please if you are sensitive or susceptible to nightmares you might want to skip this one and wait for the interview with the Utleys later in the week.

Mrs. Smith is seated on a bright couch with a floral pattern. She is a husky woman with soft features, except for her lips, which are compressed as though she is perpetually holding back something she wants to say. She looks to be in her early fifties, and we are told that Mr. Smith died soon after her only daughter Amber was born. Her hair is short and the lenses of her glasses often reflect the light and hide her eyes from view. She has made tea for herself and the interviewer. Vapor rises from the china pot.

How did you daughter die?

Mrs. Smith: Amber had fallen in with the wrong sort of people. Her death was not an accident.

How, then, did she die?

Mrs. Smith: I prefer not to go into the details. They are both embarrassing and painful for me.

I can understand that. Can you talk about when your daughter returned?

Mrs. Smith: My daughter never returned.

What do you mean?

Mrs. Smith: It was a demon wearing my daughter's flesh.

A demon?

Mrs. Smith: (pouring tea) Yes. Reverend Mathers is quite clear, and correct, on the subject. You are familiar with Reverend Mathers and One Life ministries?


Mrs. Smith: If not, you should read his book And the Graves Gave Up Their Dead. He illustrates the situation in an easily understandable way, even for more, shall we say, secular people.

By demon, do you mean...

Mrs. Smith: My personal belief is that my daughter let the demon inside of her heart when she was still alive. When she died, it was already there. The Reverend writes that the climate of the times is such that even the righteous may have their bodies usurped, but I am not so sure. I am beginning to think that all of the things that you call zombies were teens who allowed demons inside of them while they were still alive. (Smiles) You haven't touched your tea!

What...what did you do when you saw your...when you saw the demon?

Mrs. Smith: Did you see my gardens outside?

Excuse me?

Mrs. Smith: Please tell me saw my gardens! I spend so much time on them. The flowers along the walkway. I know your cameraman saw them; he was very careful when I asked him to mind my flowers.

I saw them. they are very nice. (Pauses) When the demon...

Mrs. Smith: Sometimes the blossoms on the flowers fade and die. I'm very careful to attend to my flowers when the blossoms die, because if left unattended the flowers would begin self-seeding. And they look terrible! I have garden snips that I sometimes use for deadheading. That's what you call it when you remove a spent blossom. "Deadheading." Sometimes I don't use the snips. I often just pinch the dead blooms between my thumb and forefinger. My hands are quite strong, you know, from all the years of gardening. When Paul died I really threw myself into my gardening. But sometimes I work with plants where my hands or the snips are not sufficient. I have many tools in my little shed. Did you see it? Gardening shears, an electric hedge trimmer. A spade and a trowel for digging out stubborn roots.

(sips tea)

Gardening has been such a comfort to me. I think it says a lot about a person, how they maintain their garden.

Are you...are you saying...

Mrs. Smith: Your tea is getting cold. (Pauses). I think that this interview is over, don't you?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dead in the Family, Part 2

Here is the second part of the Dead in the Family transcripts. You can read the first part HERE

What do you mean when you say he wasn't your son?

Steve: Just that. It was his body, but it wasn't him.

Erin: We could tell.

Steve: His eyes. They were flat, like there wasn't any intelligence behind them at all. There was nothing there at all.

Erin: He'd been such a funny boy. A happy boy.

Steve: The zombie was moving the way they do, staggering, like--and he reached for me. I thought he was going for my throat. (Pauses). It wasn't him.

Do you consider yourself to be religious people?

Steve: I know my son is in heaven, if that is what you are asking. But I don't know if that thing has anything to do with religion.

Many people believe...

Steve:That they are demons, signs of the apocalypse or whatever. i know. I don't know anything about that.

What happened after you saw your son? The zombie?

Steve: We told the hospital that he wasn't our son, and we left.

Have you had any contact with the zombie afterwards?

Steve: No.

Erin: He was staying with one of the other families that lost a boy in the crash.

They took in their son? And yours?

Steve:(angry) They took in zombies.

The interview was terminated almost immediately after this comment. The film crew leaves the camera on as they exit the house, and the cameraman turns towards the boy playing with his dog in the backyard. One gets the impression that the boy desperately wants to say something, but in the end he turns away.

In a few days I'll post excerpts from interview #2