Do you hear that? Can you figure out what that sound is?
The silence was deafening.
The house had gone from a rotating door of loved ones coming to visit Douglas to just completely wide open to coming in to comfort and show respect towards the girls and me. I remember telling the girls if you can’t find me, I will be sitting down on dad’s bench. It isn’t his, but it is in our neighborhood, just down the walking path from our home. Doug found comfort sitting there watching the ducks on the pond. It became a safe place for me to escape if I needed not be found.
Chaos filled every room, and the noise was much needed in those beginning days. It kept me out of my head and allowed the shock I was experiencing to settle in. Looking back, I am unsure if allowing the shock to settle in was a great idea, but it was the path I took.
Days following Doug’s Celebration of Life is when I encountered silence for the first time. I had been out; I don’t even remember where, and it had gotten dark. As I pulled up, I realized I had forgotten to leave any lights on in the house. Great, now I am walking into a dark house alone. Alone! A.L.O.N.E!
The For a moment, I contemplated not going in, but where would I go, and what would that accomplish?
Bravely, I walked to the front door, punched in the code to the lock, quickly stepped in, slammed the door shut, and hit the lock button. I walked through the house, turning on every light switch I came across. I had the place lit up like it was daylight.
After wandering the house, I finally landed in Doug’s chair. As quickly as I sat, the tears began to fall. Is this how life will be forever? Sitting there for a moment is when I heard the noise. Asking myself, I guess, if I listened to that.
Along with trying to figure out what it was. When I realized it was the ticking of the clock on the wall. THE TICKING OF THE CLOCK! The silence that had not filled my house was busting the seams now. I threw my hands to my face and bawled.
At one point, shouting, I CAN’T DO THIS! I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS!
The silence that comes after our loved one is gone and all those who were here for you can no longer be found can be as devastating as the loss. This is where our mind starts to wander, the pain starts to set in, and the awakening to being by ourselves begins. It truly can be a terrifying state to be in.
After six and half years of living as a widow, I can report there are still days of silence that can tear open my grief, and I sit and cry. I believe this is a standard way of grieving and missing the love I shared with my husband.
My encouragement to you today is knowing that you are not entirely alone in the silence, even though you feel so secluded. The Lord sits with you. Your loved one is by you.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Love and Blessings