Dear Ann Landers,
This is about your response to "Tom in Ft. Atkinson, Wis.," whose friend still had his late wife's voice on the answering machine. You advised him to tell his friend to stop avoiding reality and remove the message.
My father died almost two years ago. My sister and I have asked my mother not to erase my father's voice message on her machine. It brings us comfort, smiles and sometimes a tear -- every time we hear his voice. I don't need a grief counselor, Ann. We are all dealing with Dad's death in a normal and healthy way. We just like to hear his voice now and then.
My mother is about to remarry, and her new husband has asked her to change the answering machine message, which is perfectly understandable. Instead of having Mom erase my father's voice, I bought her a new tape and took the old one home so my sister and I can listen to it whenever we want.
I am sorry "Tom" finds it depressing to hear a dead person's voice, but there are some of us who cannot hear it often enough. -- No Name in Minnesota
I was surprised that a great many readers shared your view. I assumed most readers would feel as I did. I was mistaken. Here's one more: