Lao Tzu said that “Silence is a source of Great Strength.”
It takes a bit to get to that point, though. The complete chaos preceding loss- loud noises surrounding you. Bangs, screams, breaking and shattering glass. Sobbing, sniffling, weeping, curtains closing.
Then a truly thunderous sound. The deafening silence that occurs in the instant that chaos gets wiped away. This is life after loss. There is no more chaos. There is no more conversation.
No more discussing, no more more arguing. No more doctor appointments, bed pan changing, hospice nurse visits. No more mundane conversations. No more arguments over socks, or money, or the god damn dishes. No more “pass me the salt please”. No more anything.
The deafening silence of loss defined. They, and their mutterings, are vacuumed away in an instant.This silence is a complete and utter dead stillness so thick and dense that cannot be penetrated.
It cannot be penetrated by a hug, by a phone call, it cannot be penetrated by TV, white noise, loud music, loud people, loud living, alcohol, drugs, food -anything. You may try to fill it up with created chaos and noise. Booze, cleaning, exercise, you can try anything to fill the emptiness – but there is no running from it.
The deafening silence of loss. You are searching for any sound that signifies their presence – a moment of “you were just dreaming – they are walking around the corner and headed towards you”.
You are listening so intently that you hear every breath entering your lungs, every whoosh of blood heading towards your heart, every wheeze as you inhale.
Nothing is more apparent in those moments of physical body awareness that the one sound you crave, is the one sound that will never come again.
The deafening silence of loss.
I wish I could tell you that the deafening silence goes away. It doesn’t. What does occur, though, is that it comes less frequently, and you learn to live with, and even seize that void as an opportunity to heal.
That silence can be the well that you drink from at your darkest hours. Learn not to fear it, but to embrace that silence as a time to focus inward and meditate on moments of peace and joy that you shared with the one you are missing.
That silence becomes your biggest strength.