Posted by: chlost | February 12, 2014

Do not delete

As of today, it has been four years since my sister died. She was just one day away from her 50th birthday. It was very sudden, and the cause of her death has never been formally determined.

There has not been one day in the past four years when I have not thought of her.

She was 5 years younger than me, lived half-way across the country, and we both had busy families. But we talked at least once every week or two by phone. The conversations almost always lasted an hour or so. We never ran out of things to talk about.

Here is something I have never admitted before: I still have a voicemail message on my phone from her. I haven’t had the heart to listen to it. But every time the “save” option runs out, I always skip the message and then “re-save” it.

It has been re-saved every month for the past four years. I don’t think I can ever delete it.

It makes me wonder how long I can keep the phone.




  1. Even without the message I am sure she is always with you.

    • You’re right. But it is the sound of her voice that is the issue…..I want it near, but am still not ready to hear it.

  2. I think it would be hard to delete it, too. I hope you are able to keep it as long as it still gives you comfort knowing it’s there.

  3. I have an old cassette from my youth with my mother speaking on it. I listened once but broke down and cannot bring myself to listen again, but it gives me huge comfort knowing that I have it and have the option to listen if I need to. I must get it converted to CD before cassette players become totally obsolete. My almost daily phone conversations with my mother were a huge part of my life and I miss being able to pick up the phone and discuss something on the radio or tv.

    I wonder whether you could have your message taken off the phone and put on CD or similar so that if something goes wrong you always have it there. These voices from the past are like photos but especially meaningful since they resonate with the life of the person. Grief and loss are so hard, you have my sympathies.

  4. I wonder if there is a way to save that message onto something else to keep it as a file? I wish I had something that had my brother’s voice on it.

  5. I think when you change phones, as long as you stay with the same carrier, your voicemail stays there ….

    I’ve heard this story from several others over the years, and I am always envious … I would love to have a recording of my father’s voice. As of Feb 8, he’s been gone 34 years, and I’ve forgotten what his voice sounds like. It’s always right there … just at the edge of my consciousness; I can see him laughing at one of his famous corny jokes, but, the sound is never there — it’s like a silent movie.

    I bet if you know someone tech savvy, then can record it from the phone into an .mp3 or .wav file for you, and you can burn it onto a CD.

  6. Oh, I understand. My dad died 11 years ago, and I haven’t listened to any of the recordings we have of him singing (he was a voice professor, an opera singer, a tenor). Just in the last month or two, I’ve thought to myself, “I’m ready. I’m ready for that kind of cry now.”

    I’m so sorry.

    • I am so jealous of those recordings of your dad. First, because I don’t have recordings of my dad. But second, my sister was a professional classical singer. I would give up some major body parts to have a recording of her singing. Keep that music close to your heart. Best wishes as you listen to it. *Hug*

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