When my mother died in 2009, I wanted to hide. Solitude became my friend. Shattered by loss, I wanted nothing more than to burrow into a cocoon and lick my wounds.
When friends tried to get me to go out or find other ways to distract myself from the pain, I protested and resisted. I didn’t want to be distracted. My pain was the last connection I had with my mother...and I didn’t want anyone to take it away.
I guarded it like a lioness does her cubs.
I know now that wasn’t the healthiest way to deal with it. I would’ve loved the comforting support of friends who could “be” with me in the cave of loss. I just didn’t know anyone who was too quick to raise a hand and accept the invitation.
Even if we’re fortunate enough to be befriended in loss, we need silence when we’re grieving. Lots of it.
Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t let us have that important ingredient so essential to our healing. “Get back to work. Get busy. Get going.” These are the messages of the culture we live in. Three days of time off, and you’re expected to be back at your desk, having hung up your sorrow along with your winter coat on a hook outside.
With the permission slip from our culture, many grievers also volunteer to take on more as a way not to feel. How are you dealing with your loss, I ask. “I’m staying busy” is the answer I hear a lot.
Silence is uncomfortable when we’re used to a daily diet of incessant noise.
- Stuff comes up in silence. Stuff we don’t want to look at, or think about.
- Silence brings up emotions we don’t want to feel.
- Silence brings us face-to-face with issues of resentment, lack of forgiveness, and anger we haven’t dealt with.
When we don’t allow what needs to be healed into our consciousness, we must find a way to distract or numb ourselves.
But silence is the place where healing happens. The space where we can be alone with our thoughts and feelings. Reflect upon and understand who we are, and what we’d like to do differently. Make new choices about how to live moving forward.
Silence is where you can hear your soul speak.
Empty yourself. Create room for silence. Listen. Your soul will take you by the hand and lead you to your healing.