1990 FL Screenwriter’s Award for screenplay based on a true story of a happy family whose son, on the day of his high school graduation, commits suicide.
FELTON KELSING lives comfortably with his vivacious, doting wife, BETTY, precocious 11-year-old daughter, LIANE and 18-year-old son, ORAN, a likeable boy with good friends and a loving girlfriend, NANCY. They are a happy family. On the day of Oran’s graduation from high school, Oran blows his brains out.
At the funeral, the minister bespeaks a prophecy that the unshackled soul may yet comfort loved ones with visits never so profoundly felt in life. The words form a channel through which Oran is drawn back to those who have not yet let him go. He appears to them separately, and they each see him differently.
Liane lashes out at Oran for ruining her birthday party. Angry at those who did not come to the funeral, the most important event in her family’s life, she makes obscene phone calls to them in a disguised voice.
Betty, obsessed with her dead son, describes to whomever will listen how she found him. The once vibrant, involved woman has no reason to dress or leave the house. She tells Oran she knows why he killed himself. It was her fault.
Nancy attaches herself to the Kelsings, taking on their pain as self-retribution for not giving herself to Oran shortly before he killed himself. Oran tells her that wasn’t the reason, but she knows how much he counted on them being together. It would have been the first time for each of them.
Fenton, tormented by not having been able to help his son, is the most needful of his visits. Through them, the truth is revealed to Fenton, a truth that no one had suspected—why Oran killed himself. This knowledge saves the family, and Oran accomplishes his mission.