Her Voice Memos and My Grief

A Friend’s Digital Messages in a Bottle Carry on a Centuries-Long Tradition of Auditory Remembrance

One of my best friends died recently.

It still doesn’t feel real. The last time I saw her was the day after the Fourth of July. Her smile always lit up the room, but that night, the joy seemed to seep out of her, so much so that even the person who took our order at dinner commented on it.

Life was coming together. She’d gone back to school to become a speech-language pathology assistant and was on track to complete her program in the fall. Unfailingly patient, positive, and compassionate, her …