When I was a recent college graduate, I took a job with a major cell phone carrier. After 9/11, more people than I could count came into my office in tears, wondering if there was a way to retrieve voice mail messages even though the phones (much like the people to whom they belonged) were unlikely to ever be recovered. More times than I care to remember, it fell upon me to explain to parents of victims that voicemail functionality didn’t mean the phone was turned on, or even that it still existed, and that I although understood the need to cling to hope, outgoing messages were stored at the switching center, not on the applicable handsets. I learned more about life and loss in September of 2001 than I ever thought possible.

That was the inspiration for the voicemail scene in Counterpoint—how we take things like hearing the voice of a loved one for granted, and how something as mundane as a phone call can bring our world crashing down. Though I’ve never personally done it, I know from reviews many of you have. I’m slowly working through replies, but I wanted to thank you for sharing your stories.

Grief doesn’t go away, and the world keeps going. I’ve always believed that talking about loved ones we’ve lost is the easiest way to keep the with us.

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  1. on 10 Apr 2010 at 12:03 amkatydid13

    This makes me want to make my parents and grandparents record their voices for me. That must of been a hard job, especially because it's not the kind of job that you expect to do grief counseling in.

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  2. on 10 Apr 2010 at 2:39 ampatty

    it was beautiful, just listening to carlisle's voice even if edward knew he would never be able to return that call. i loved that scene so much

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  3. on 10 Apr 2010 at 5:46 ambgwillis1281

    Several years before I father died he and my mother took a two week trip to Hawaii. Going on such a long trip and flying sucha long made my dad decide to leave a cassette tape with me with instructions on what to do if anything happened to him and mom – where the insurance policies were, where the bank records and burial policy was located, etc. He also included a message for my brother and me telling us how proud he was of us. A little over a year after he died I discovered the tape. I put it in my stereo and my father's voice came out over the speakers. I just listened, savoring the sound I hadn't heard in more than a year and I just wept. I still have the tape and I listen to it from time to time, just to refresh my mind with how he sounded. It was the first thing I thought of when I read that scene. The 9/11 memory for you must have been so powerful, I can't even imagine. It was an heartbreaking scene and fit beautifully in the story.

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