Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
December 17, 2023 ·  5 min read

After Son’s Death, Mom Enters His Room and Cries as She Hears Child’s Voice Saying ‘Hi Mom’ — A Short Story

When a loved one dies, they leave a gaping hole behind. That void cannot be filled but as time passes, the mourners learn how to live with it. A sudden loss is even more wrenching because there was no warning and no opportunity for any kind of closure. We think we have all the time in the world for amends until that moment is ripped away. Lori grieved deeply for her son, filled with past regrets. But then a strange incident gave her the reason to keep moving on. This story was inspired by a reader of AmoMama, where it was originally published. 

Jonah Goes Missing

First, Lori lost her husband. They had been in love since college and Lori couldn’t imagine life without him. But their son, Jonah, was only five years old at the time and he struggled to understand what was going on. Lori forced herself to be strong for his sake.

Eventually, her faked strength developed into something more substantial. She still missed her husband terribly, but as time passed, she got more energy. She was able to enjoy life again. Jonah became her whole world and she was determined to be the best mother possible. This mission became extraordinarily difficult when Jonah entered his teenage years.

Like most teenagers, Jonah became moody and distant. He no longer confided in Lori and he got angry when she invaded his space. It was like he became a new person and Lori struggled to parent this version of Jonah. But she hoped he would adjust as he matured and they would become close again then. However, the distance only grew as time went on. 

One afternoon, Lori cooked Jonah’s favorite dinner and planned to initiate a meaningful talk with him. But the hours drew by and Jonah didn’t return from school. She called his friends in case he went to their houses, but all of them didn’t know where he was. One of them mentioned they planned to play video games together but Jonah hasn’t logged into his online account. Lori went upstairs and peeked into Jonah’s room, something he had prohibited her from doing. She hoped he would miraculously appear in front of his video game console and yell at her to get out of his room. But he didn’t appear.

Hi, Mom”

Finally, Lori called the police to file a missing person report. But her conversation was interrupted by a knock at the door. Two cops were already there. After sitting her down, they informed Lori that Jonah was hit by a drunk driver when he was crossing the street, just a few blocks from their home.

photo of lights on a police car
Photo credits: Pexels

Lori felt like she was trapped in a bad dream. It didn’t feel real, not when she identified the body at the hospital, not during the funeral. Only when his coffin was laid in the earth did reality hit her. Her son was in that box. She cried uncontrollably. Despite all of her efforts to be a good mother, she had failed him.

Now alone in an empty house, Lori fell into a depression. She slept through the day and lay awake at night, the horror of her son’s death replaying over and over in her mind. She could barely get out of bed. But a week later she was awoken early one morning by a voice calling, “Hi, mom.” It sounded like Jonah. 

She shot out of bed, calling for him. But there was a pause. Then she heard it again, coming from Jonah’s bedroom. She entered for the first time in a long while and a haunted feeling fell over her. Then she heard the voice again say, “Hi, mom,” but it didn’t sound like her son anymore.

Hiding behind the door was a gray parrot in a cage, turning its head quizzically at her. She had no idea the bird was here. When she leaned down to look at it more closely, she noticed a note with a childish scrawl with a few notes on how to care for the parrot and a phone number for more questions. 

Why Did Denny Sell His Parrot?

She called several times until a young boy picked up. She asked about the parrot and he remembered it immediately. He said his name was Denny and the parrot used to be his but he traded it with Jonah for his old toys. They were in good condition and Denny sold the toys for money. 

He went on to explain that he met Jonah in the park a while ago. He had liked the parrot and asked Denny all about it. The two chatted for a while and Denny offered to trade it. Lori remembered that Jonah had begged for a pet but they couldn’t afford it at the time. Jonah didn’t take the refusal well but she had no idea he had attained a bird on his own. But now, she only felt happy he got the pet he wanted, even for a little bit. 

photo of a gray parrot
Photo credits: Pixabay

But she asked Denny why he was selling his parrot, and Denny admitted he needed money for food. He had escaped from his abusive foster parents, taking the parrot they had bought him to show off for the childcare inspectors. He’d been living on the streets ever since and he begged Lori not to tell his foster parents where he was. She promised him she wouldn’t. 

Her Second Son

Lori offered to return the parrot and Denny agreed. He had missed his feathery friend. He came by her house later that afternoon, and Lori cooked him a large lunch. As they ate, Denny explained more about his life, and with his permission, she called social services to report his abusive foster parents. When the social worker asked for her address to pick him up, Denny began to panic that he’d have to go back to that awful home. Immediately, Lori insisted that he would stay by her house during the investigation. She had to give her address for the social worker to look over her house and sign some paperwork, and the visit made Denny extremely anxious. He was terrified to be taken away, but Lori assured him that would not happen.

photo of Denny eating lunch with Lori
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

So Denny became a guest, living in Jonah’s old room. He didn’t fully trust Lori, but he felt better having met her son. By the time the investigation was over, Denny and Lori had created a bond. Instead of turning him into the social service, she adopted him. While she still mourned for Jonah deeply, she felt like he had brought Denny to her, that he knew that Denny belonged in their family. 

This story was inspired by an original piece of fiction that first appeared on AmoMama. Any similarities between this story and actual people are purely coincidental.

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