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November 7, 2006 |
Dear Mr. Keillor:
My husband and I are relative newcomers to your wonderful radio show, and we enjoy it immensely. Thank you so much.
Last week's news from Lake Wobegon touched my soul for a very personal reason our 18-year-old daughter, our only child, passed away in February. Hers was a difficult life of illness and disability, but her spirit was strong and shining, and we sense her presence at the most poignant of times.
Your story about the Lake Wobegon parents whose daughter died, and the ultimate appearance of their deceased daughter on Halloween night, left me in tears. Ironically, my husband and I didn't feel up to distributing candy this Halloween and left our house for the evening...and we discovered the next morning that our house had been egged quite a bit. I don't know if the perpetrators were aware of our loss, but in my head I could hear the words of that little girl's apparition "leave them in peace".
Again, thank you.
Virginia R., Jessica's Mother forever
Thank you for writing, Virginia. It was an odd story: about a boy's love of watching other people unaware of his presence, then his venture into their home and his interference, and then the ghost of the girl telling him to back off. He had been impersonating a ghost by lurking around their house and peeking at them, and he had to be told not to. It was their tragedy, the loss of a child, that brought out the voyeur in him, of course, which is a common thread in human experience. People need to look at tragedy so they can try to figure out what it would be like should it happen to them. But this curiosity can turn into voyeurism. My mother felt very strongly that one should not stare at people in distress at accidents on the highway, for example and when she saw rubberneckers slowing down to get a good look at the destruction, looking for bodies, she became quite incensed. I'm sure that as grieving parents you may have experienced this a certain fascination on the part of others which is an invasion of your privacy and should be resisted. The last thing you need is to become an object of curiosity. The dreadful thing about invasion of privacy is how it turns us into performers in an intimate sphere where we count on honesty. I can't believe that the egging had any connection to your loss: it's just too cruel. Of course you'll be Jessica's mother forever and your loss will heal as you live your life. You certainly touch my soul by writing. Thank you.