Daisy Edgar-Jones (Hulu's "Normal People") reads Kyleigh Leddy's essay, about the online presence people leave behind.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love. The podcast is supported by produced by the island, W B WAR Boston, a note before we start, this episode deals with suicide and it may not be right for all listeners. from the New York Times and w you are Boston. This is modern love stories of love, loss and redemption. I'm your host Meghna Chakrabarti, the weather we think about it or not. Most of us create a digital imprint. As we move through the world, Instagram posts tweets Facebook status update.
Send text. Talks can all seem inconsequential when we post them, but they do become a record we leave behind Kylie Letty writes about that in her essay years ago. My sister vanished, I see her whenever I want He's is read by Daisy, EDGAR Jones, daisies. As in normal people, which premieres on Hulu on April, twenty ninth HM temporary reads the cover photo of my sister's facebook, page everything It's going to be amazing. The words. in the blue, green and Red from the screen as a kind of preternatural promise a message from beyond When I'm feeling stressed, I click on her profile gaze at that image and take a deep breath
leave, notes, messages and pictures on her page. They say I miss you. I love you and I'm thinking about you. They can't need flowers, but they do leave it. Sometimes they even travel through time by responding to a common of hers from years before and to certain magic is created, the conversation extending across the bridge of years. Transcending her absence, the page eight, two continuation and after life Facebook. My sister's words are preserved, frozen like a photograph and her photographs remain to in stages of how young life you can. chronologically scrolling. A tickling girl in a pink Patagonia fleece an eighteen year old model with a disposable camera and a goofy smile. You can watch her
and screw long I had become blonder. He called her freckles into constellations across her nose. You can see, seed of rebellion sprouting into an idea, agree. alive and wild every. So often I taken away Here's tab and watches she and a friend drive through a toll gate with incorrect change. I listen again and again, as my sister The video is grainy and absurd, and it's difficult to distinguish faces, but her laugh is distinct. Now my favorite sound, throaty and extravagant to call my sister's phone when she first disappeared I knew she would not answer the say It vanished the moment she had, but the voicemail was intact.
When I needed to hear her voice, I would dial her number and she would tell me to leave a message occasionally I did I would tell her about my day go ask where she was other times. I would cry my silence following the beep we used to text but to technology allowed me to continue that casual correspondence like a widower might speak to a gravestone. I kept her up with the coda shoes. Told her what colleges I reply to related gossip from our high school and the details of our parents separation. I told her crazy things, ridiculous things Things you only tell your older sister. The messages were automatic. Reflexive I'm owed to self comfort. Until one night, while out with friends at an irish pub in Boston, I received a reply that point
tat had been two years since the frigid January night, when she took a taxi to the foot of Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin Bridge two years since my parents sat with detectives viewing security. Camera photos showed her walking towards the bridges high point in her red nor face jacket, but not continuing two years since the such as for any, ass came up empty. My family never officially proclaimed her deceased, but the reality settled in our stomachs like the dust that fell upon her untouched bedroom. When my Iphone buzzed at the bar in Boston and her name, appeared on the black screen. I was so startled Then I dropped it. Instantly stick on my heart racing. I was afraid Men in college then and haven't told my new friends about my sister. It was to say I was known each other than to reveal the complicated truth at the pub.
A band was playing my sister's favorite song, so I had texted. I miss you, that's when her name appeared with the message. Who is this. I rushed to the bathroom and made it into a stove where I collapse some a toilet seat, thinking she's alive she's alive shaking. I pressed the cool button, hello voice, It was a female voice, but deepest a my sister's older, the one explains that she had been given the number with her new cell plan every night's about me stopping in the stove moaning and you kind of lost. I did me outpost of well meaning stranger at the sink he said.
whoever he is he's not what the tears trust me. I wanted to say he's a she and trust me he's worth it. I told my friends the truth. That night, though, it's the truth, I've struggle to face myself. After all, if I could still see her head her and text her what she really gone, Facebook reminded me of her birthday and calculated the passing years inter current age. Then her death wasn't a period or an end, but more than ellipsis and I I could imagine the dot dot to the bubble popping up at any moment,. When someone you love disappears, there's no find Do you have an autopsy report for the closure of a funeral? Oh you have is a lack of presence. You can piece together. The mystery like in the Nancy drew books. He used to devour
but there's no memorial service to confirm the truth and that's the problem. The promise of possibility, however, faint he's harsher than any certainty. It has now been five years since her disappearance and I still size about an alternate outcome that senseless hope is heart is mother The oft Johns that some day I may see her face in a crowd his family. as my own reflection of and towards her and save her. This time. I have this dream a lot. entreating on other dreams, bullying them. Demanding to be heard Several years ago, my mother suggested we delete my sister's Facebook account If it was inappropriate, The way her online life is paused with her random thoughts and photos on public display. Ultimately,
we decided not to. He brings me too much comfort. As the years pass, I know the age she was when she dissipated I've come to know her Becca from the quote. posted in her via the song cute in her ipod. The comment she left on her friends photos site getting someone to through glimpses in a window, but it's better than nothing and yet, I understand my mother's view indecent about holding onto the media, it so alive, so casual, so improper. There are screenshots two faced on conversations: selfies profaned, jokes, a picture of her seat for the friends Chihuahua. recently I read about the development of chatbots that can imitate human speech patterns the technology. He's being considered as a way to facilitate bereavement. Allowing us to communicate with loved ones through text messages using
No data and old messages the boats can respond, like your father grandmother, who sister use your loved ones, favorite phrases and dialectic habits. They can say I miss you too,. with such sophisticated technology. The question is no longer what's possible, but what's morally permissible, in the grey area between preservation and personality theft. There is a danger I have too much holding on and not enough letting go. Memorials never feel like enough to the grief stricken. Never big enough or grand enough to commemorate the people we lose. Technology may get us closer replicating faces and voices with alarming accuracy, but it will inevitably fall short. These days there are fewer friends posting on my
it page, not as many hearts as instagram searches on Facebook receipts, I wonder how long her page will remain active it's hard to think that interest. In my MR may depend on the relative popularity of a social media platforms. For now the photos keep her memory visit, and I like this, solidarity of knowing, when others think of her and how they express that love with absence comes forgetting and Facebook helps me remember what I cannot bear to lose. On her page, her essence remains the way extends her words with too many vowels. I miss you, becoming I imeis you, the bright colors of her crochet top you sure she painted her nails one summer. The picture of us on Cape COD my God, be knees resting on her tongue shoulders at sunset. I can
the scar on her lip from when she fell out of her bedroom window, sneaking out to a high school party. I can see her nose scrunched up as she readies herself to tell a joke. Facebook cannot mimic. my sister's flowery handwriting remind me Well, she smelled when wearing her favorite, perfume or hug me the way she used to, but it can preserve the posts she left of my will six years ago. That reads: I love you. Sometimes that's enough! Yeah that's Daisy, EDGAR Jones, reading, Kiley Liddy's essay years ago. My sister vanished, I see her whenever I want, will catch up with Kiley after the break
The. The I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open outgoing d- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in sorry. It may have happened again today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my dad. It was like the first time together and I was out. I think I got to see it
J C K, P, o Jack, jackpot panic yeah. nice. I'm same as ascii. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at annoying times, dot com, flash games, kind,
Leddy won the modern love College essay contest in two thousand and nineteen. She says that before her piece was published, she and her family had to wrestle with what it would be like to have the story of her sister's suicide out in the world. There's this aspect, my sister I didn't want to really get into in the essay she was going through a lot the time she was struggling with mental illness and allow that was kind of degrading, the things that made her who she was, and I was afraid to kind of bring that subject into the world in this essay, because it's my first time really writing anything of the public and pretty much a year has passed now. Since the essay came out. I have realized that it's not enough just to talk about the good and that it's ok to say that they're over the hard times that sometimes my sister wasn't who she wanted to be. I think the best thing we can do is kind of be honest about both aspects, the good and the funny times and the ways I want to remember
and also that that she struggled Kiley says that before the essay was published, she tried to make her sisters, Facebook, page less public. My sister is cobblers or by me, and she can. I was using face, began to wait. I think that we use it now, maybe even like he was way more casual for her and national. She was maybe wine
on the New York Times page, so for me, it was trying to protect her in a certain way in her memory by it I was a mailing customer service like nonstop before the ass. They came out ass. He now they can make a more or less a cow em, just because it and how that desk to forget, even though we are sorry what happened, it wasn't possible to make it into this. New state Kiley eventually came to terms with the fact that her sisters, Facebook page, is relatively accessible. She still visits the page and she still takes care
from it there is this risk when someone passes away that we're going to lose this certain aspects of them that made them who they are in these little ways and the way they smiled or just strange small details. Now I feel, like I look back my sister's Facebook page last as this need to remember her and more as this like comfort that it's there I need it and that he's always going to be there with me in different ways now to Kylie graduated from college. Last year now
working in journalism in New York City, although she's back home in Massachusetts during the quarantine- and she recently got a book deal she's working on a book about her sister and thinking about her a lot, it's kind of funny. I have these all text messages I have saved for my sister and allow them are like really lovely and they'd be out. We had a fight, so it's kind of ironic but we'd have a fight and she would message me something so kind and somehow I won't even answer, because I would be mad at her, and I regret that obviously, but in a few the text messages she sent me. She says that she loves me and all these amazing things, then she
It says she hopes that I write one day and I try to hold on to knowing that. She wanted this for me and now that my kind of my big break in writing was this essay about her and now this book about her. It makes me feel like we are doing it together in a strange way and that that this aspect of sisterhood and like wanting the best for each other and supporting each other, it is still there. That's Kylie, Liddy, she's, a writer and works as an editorial assistant at parents magazine she's, working on a memoir and many thanks to Kylie for recording herself at home, more after the break
I love fallin my boyfriend and I often play following me together by together I mean setting next to each other of playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up scowling, do I see that you have completed a few words on your own? I feel a little betrayed it may have happened again. Today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my dad. It was like the first time together and I was out- I think I got to see it. J C K, P o jack jackpot, panic, yeah, Nice
I'm same as ascii, the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times, you can try spelling bee and all our games at annoying times dot com, Flash Games, Daniel Jones the editor of the modern love column for the New York Times. He says that most people who submit to the modern love College essay contest write about romantic love, Kylie's essay, stood out so her ass. I was really an unusual perspective to have a sister relationship but it was so powerful and we felt the essay was such a brave, sort of investigation into her own emotions about having some so close to her disappear, without confirmation of what had happened to her for so long just the way she was able to- at a young age capture and capture how that feels and how it continues.
I'll, get you and how you move on ultimately, and here's Daisy EDGAR Jones. I find the topic of the way we deal with grief and and social media, very, very interesting because on the one and I think it's a really wonderful thing- that it can be something we shattered to speak about it and to see the way of the people they were there and there is such a comfort asset. In this I say of being it remember someone intend and commemorate them on ain't, no in any kind of form but on the other hand, I completely relate to what she talks about the kind of strangeness of keeping this talk to someone going when they are no longer with us in and why that's morally wrong, so found, the essay, fascinating and very peaceful and very sad. So that's why I chose the essay personally thanks to Daisy for reading Kiley peace, daisies new show is no while people it premieres on Hulu on April. Twenty ninth-
and daisy, was our latest actor to record herself. So thank you to her. For in her roommates to turn off the tv waiting for that our player next door to stop playing and pausing every time a truck went by Daisy did a terrific job, Modern love is the production of the New York Times and W B you are Boston, NPR station, its produced directed and edited by Caitlin, O Keefe original scoring and sound design by Matt Reed Iris learn our executive. Pretty sir we're edited by Catherine Brewer Daniel Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show the aid yeah for the modern love. Podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin. Additional Thanks to me, only Julia Simon and unjust remain at the New York Times and to Michael Garth. At W B, you are I make me Chakrabarti, see you next week.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-15.