Mary Beekman is a four-year-old ghost who resides in The Beekman Mansion, and considers Brent and Josh her “imaginary friends.” Follow Mary Beekman’s Diary each week to learn what it’s like to be a young child in early 19th century America

While the sky was still quite grey and the morning not yet begun, Josh and Brent shook my arm.  They whispered in my ear.  No one can see or hear them so I am not certain why theywere speaking so quietly.  They told me I should stay in my room longer than usual because Mother was weeping.  Father had arrived home later than normal last night.  I was in my bed with dolly.  I was not quite asleep.  The moon was large and bright.  He had brought with him a letter for Mother from family.  They do not live near by.

Josh and Brent were still here last night and said Mother opened the letter and began weeping softly. Father was very concerned.  Mother is a very sensitive woman with compassion that knows no boundaries.  I believe these are the very reasons she has so many friends and folks who come to visit and seek her council.  I do not feel comfortable when she is sad.

The eldest  child of a distant relative had ended his life by his own hand.  I think he was the same number of years as older brother who is 18.  I am not to speak of it to Mother. She cannot understand how this could happen.  Mother says all life is a gift to be honored and cherished. When I saw Mother later this day, she was in her room just rocking and weeping into her handkerchief. She bade me to come in and hugged me close.  She smelled of violets and sadness.  I did as Father told me and did not speak.  She kept whispering of his despair and loneliness.  I did not even seek the name of this young man.  Mother told me the name of this boy would be written in the sky of the beautiful painting that is in our parlor.  He had painted this picture.

Josh and Brent and I went in to see the painting.  We needed to take a closer look. It was sent to our family as a gift when our house was completed. Father was always proud of this young man’s talent.  We looked at the sky from every direction. We walked back and forth and Brent and Josh even tipped upside down to see what name they could discover.  It was rather strange, because we could read many names in the wisps of clouds and streams of smoke coming from hearth chimneys. I had not discovered the loneliness in the beautiful, busy sky before.  Now, I think I see it.

by Mary Beekman

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Roger, thank you for telling me your story.

Mother tells me that as long as we remember people,

we see them in each sunrise and sunset for as long as our

eyes can see.



Your story about the clouds reminds me of a sad occasion I experienced several years ago. I went to a concert in Seattle where I used to live which celebrated the 25th anniversary of a men's chorus there. A special song had been composed and was being performed for the first time to honor the many men who formerly performed in that chorus but who had passed away due to a 'plague' which has taken the lives of so many talented men, most of them quite young. As they sang that beautiful memorial piece images of moving clouds were projected behind them. Every now and then the face of a man, cloudlike, moved past the center amid the clouds and then others would come into view. It was beautiful and yet so very sad ….. I had to leave the auditorium for a while.

At the end of the piece I stuffed my very wet handkerchief into my pocket. However I enjoyed the rest of the performance.

My partner's face was one of those that appeared in those moving clouds during that memorial choral tribute.

Thank you for sharing this and especially the part about the clouds. I hope you feel better by sharing your story. I know I do by sharing mine.


Portland, OR

Ginger White

Such a beautiful letter. Only you Brent and Josh would do something so thoughtful and loving for Mary. I was so pleased with the letter and it really shows how sweet and wonderful you both really are and that you really care for ohters. Pass it on and I send love and kisses. Ginger


This is lovely…and the perfect blog entry for a very sad few weeks of losses of talented young men.

teri tighe


I'm so sorry for your family's loss. Stay strong for your momma and give her comfort.

Send up prayers for that young man to the clouds and beyond to make sure he is comforted.

with love and prayers,