‘There was a lot of things that I wish I could’ve said:’ Nashville Wind Telephone celebrates one year of conversations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The owner of a telephone booth in East Nashville is celebrating one year of communicating with the dead.

“It’s a very interesting way to go about handling grief,” said Allison Young, owner of the Wind Telephone.

“The very first time I went to the Wind Phone, it was actually my mom’s birthday,” said Xorabe Lopez, a Wind Telephone user. “It was the first birthday we had without her.”

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The Japanese-inspired wind telephone booth has sat in a Porter Heights neighborhood for an entire year. In that time, it hosted an estimated 100 Nashvillians who came and wrote letters.

“Wind telephones are used by people to have one-way conversations with people that they have lost, whether it be to death or other reasons,” Young said.

In other words, it is a therapeutic way to continue a conversation or the relationship.

“I think that there are a lot of people that have just words that they wanted to say that they never got to say, and this gives them an option to go ahead and say those words,” Young said.

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For sudden losses like the one Lopez experienced, all she has to do is pick up the phone to talk to her mother.

“One second you’re here, and one second you’re not,” Lopez said. “That’s the lesson that I had to learn, so there was a lot of things that I wish I could’ve said.”

Lopez told News 2 her mom passed away suddenly in her sleep at the age of 40. Lopez didn’t get to say goodbye until recently.

“My mom and I were very, very close, so I opened a can of worms as soon as I started talking,” Lopez said. “So it was anger, and then it was sadness, and then it was just relief.”

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After spending time with a loved one in spirit, the grieving person is encouraged to take a bereavement book from the library.

Young told News 2 she plans to continue inviting the community to find peace in a final conversation.

All are welcome to visit the East Nashville Wind Telephone, located at 1425 Rosebank Avenue.

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