Letting go.

My 16 month old brought THIS to me the other day.

I think it has my deceased brother’s voice on it. I think.

I’ve held on to this tape for about 12 years. He’s been dead for 16 years. Each time I find it, I think about it. I think this is a tape recording of him or just an outgoing answering machine message. I don’t even know what it is! I think about finding a tiny little tape player to play it in…just so I can hear his voice. I never do though. I put it away until I find it again a few years later.

And so it goes.

Until the other day.

Now I’ve held on to this little gem for too many years to not at least think about repairing it. Then I stopped the madness. So what? I would repair it to put it away again? I think I keep putting it away because hearing his voice would freak me right the fuck out. Sending me into dark places I haven’t been in years. I haven’t been in those spaces because of people like the cute little cherub that gave me this gift. The gift of letting go.

I’m letting it go.


Are you irrationally sentimental like me?


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  1. My dad passed away last year, and my mom still has his voice on the answering machine. Partially because she’s alone now and doesn’t want her voice on the voicemail. Partially because it seems sacrilegious to delete it. Once we thought Verizon zapped it and we were devastated. I guess we’re not ready to let go. Irrational or not, we’re just not ready. Know what I mean?

    • First, so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine :-(
      Second, yes I know exactly what you mean. I have kept that stupid tape for 12 years! 12!
      Truthfully, it’s still sitting on my desk. I don’t know what to do with it now.

  2. I don’t think I would be able to let it go. I have a CD of my aunt talking to the family right before she died of breast cancer… it was recorded over 12 years ago, and I’ve never listened to it. I’m not sure if I ever will, but somehow just having it makes me feel better. I would totally understand if you decided to hang on to it. (I would also understand if you decided to ditch it, too. This stuff is HARD.)

    • So haaaaard. Your aunt talking to the family is a different animal I think. I would keep that too.
      This tape might just be him leaving his outgoing message. He died suddenly, not from a long illness. And I think to hear him talk like he just stepped out so please leave a message, would send me over the edge.

  3. Maybe you should have it fixed. Just so it’s there, and you know it’s there.

    This post is really striking a chord with me. I totally get it. So sorry this is something you have to deal with…

  4. I have the last voice mail from my first husband. It is 5 years old and from the day before he died. I know exactly what it says. But I cannot listen to it nor can I delete it. I keep thinking my cell company would automatically erase after time but they have not. Or maybe I should play it for my son so he can hear his father’s voice. I remain stuck.

    • Oh Alisa that’s a tough one. I think for me it would be too painful to hear it, but for my boy…I might want him to hear it. Maybe when he’s older so he can intellectualize it a bit. Instead of it being all emotion.

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