Family gets text message from ‘grandmother’s grave’

A FAMILY were shocked to receive text messages from their dead grandmother who had been buried with her mobile phone three years earlier.


Since her grandmother Lesley’s death, Sheri Emerson, 22, had been sending messages to her phone to help comfort her.

The family had buried the 59-year-old with some of her favourite possessions, including her phone, and thought operator O2 had terminated the number.

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But Ms Emerson, from South Shields, South Tyneside, was left in shock when a reply flashed up on her phone, saying: “I’m watching over you and it’s all going to get better. Just push through.”

This was followed by a second message after she asked who it was, saying “a disturbing vegetarian”.

She told the Shields Gazette: “I felt sick when I read it. I was in shock and didn’t know what to think.

“Obviously we know that Nan wasn’t ever going to reply to our texts. It was just something we did as a comfort for ourselves, because she loved to text.”

Her uncle, Graham Emerson, eventually rang the number and they discovered it was a man who had been using the number for a few weeks.

He apologised and explained that he thought the texts were hoax messages from friends and he had been given the number by giffgaff, a sister company of O2.

O2 said it had not sold the number on, but if a number is disconnected it is placed in a general pool of numbers for recycling.

The company said its bereavement team should have explained this and apologised if the family had been told anything different.

A spokesman said: “We’ve been in touch with Mr Emerson to explain the situation and apologised for any distress this is causing him and his family. He is very grateful for our support and understands we are doing all we can to help.”