It seems that daily I become increasingly aware of just how loud silence can be. I have determined that silence, in a place and time where noise should be, is nearly defeaning. Silence, when out of place, amplifies the sounds of the mundane.
Yesterday I spent the better part of the day working in my yard. We have a lot of landscaping, which is quite labor intensive in the spring and fall. Black Eyed Susans, Coneflowers, Daisies, and Lillies which have reached the end of their blooming season and were looking dead, dry and lifeless. The time to begin cutting back has come. As I trimmed, clipped and dug, Laynee's abscence practically screamed at me. I couldn't shake the feeling of incompleteness. Laynee should have been there asking a million questions about why I am cutting all of the flowers. I likely would be constantly saying "come back here, Laynee, stay by mommy." She probably would have offered to help in ways that weren't really needed, but I would have accepted her help anyway. Instead, there was silence.......loud, deafening silence. The only sounds were my soft footsteps in the grass and the sound of the clippers. The very fact that I was even consciously aware of these sounds was proof of the silence. Occasionally I would hear the "singing" of the donkey next door, a sharp stab to the soul as I could so clearly picture her delight upon hearing Donkeyotey. The silence somehow manages to rob me of the joy and pleasure that I would normally have found in the task at hand.
I thought back to a year ago, when sorrow was so new and fresh. I know that certainly I must have performed this job, for despite the fact that our world was spinning on a different axis, the seasons continued on as if nothing had happened. Perhaps someone else performed this task for me. I do not know how it was completed and it really does not matter. However, my lack of memory serves as a reminder to the devastation that came last fall and struck us unprepared, plunging us into a deep, inpenetrable fog.
I suppose that under normal circumstances, this quietness would seem peaceful. If I knew that ALL my children would be coming home from school later in the day, I could probably appreciate the silence. As things are now, the silence seems incredibly wrong, leaving me with the awkward sense of something left undone. There is no peace in this quiteness, only deep, painful sadness.
I hear it when I go out. I read it in the blogs of others. It is there often on facebook. The words of those who revel in silence are heard often, especially at the start of the school year. People often make comments such as "Ahhh....... Total, complete, blissful silence" or "I have the house to myself today, woo hoo." I take no offense, in fact, I fully understand such a comment. In the chaos of everyday life, mothers often long for some alone time. Yet now, as I hear these words, I am struck by how life is taken for granted. These are words of those who are much like I was before the fall of 2009. Having been given no reason to think otherwise, they are confident that their children will walk through the door at day's end. These are words of those who do not know that the noise of a busy household is much quieter and far more peaceful than the silence of a voice you will not hear again, this side of heaven.
CS Lewis once said that "grief is like the sky, it covers everything." In recent weeks, our family has found that this is so very true. It seems that there is no right or wrong way to travel this path of grief. I have created this blog in hopes that some day we will be able to look back on our journey and see written proof that our great God never leaves us. God is good all the time.