The art of silence

by Gail S. 9 days ago in children

knowing when to say nothing at all

The art of silence

She has died twice in her lifetime. Once was when her 30 year old son took his own life almost 7 years ago and the second time was today, as she watched her 23 year old walk out the door. The honesty in her words and sorrow in her heart had placed a wedge between them for over 3 years now and today, the umbilical cord that has held them so close for so long was severed. She couldn’t be silent. You would think she would’ve learned by now just say nothing. He doesn’t understand how when he hurts, she hurts. When he is happy, she is happy. When he is depressed and has anxiety issues...she feels it too. It is a mother/child bond. Maybe not for everyone but most certainly for her. She feels all that her boys feel. The ups, the downs and the in betweens. The joy of their loves and the disappointments of their failures.

She feels like she is drowning in a vast pool of emotions. She can’t quite catch her breath. Almost the same feeling she had 7 years ago. If she had only said nothing! How different it would be now. He would have kissed her forehead, as he always did before he went to work, he would have said "I love you, see you when I get home" and she would have smiled. Instead there was none of that. Nothing but anger looming in the air. Nothing but him feeling attacked and her feeling shitty. If she had just been silent.

The art of being silent really is an art. It is knowing when to speak up and when to shut up. She had always taken pride in knowing what to say and when to say it, today she just forgot. In the abusive relationships of her life, it was always vital to just say nothing. Saying anything at all caused more damage than good. When those days were long behind her she finally found her voice. She always believed and still does, that honesty truly is the best policy. Now she is not so sure. Could she, would she lie just to make someone happy? Would that lie do more damage than good? Sooner or later lies catch up to was not worth it to her. So she told him what she thought he needed to hear, what she knew in her heart would eventually happen to her beloved child, hoping he would understand that her love for him was so deep, that she was suddenly in “mother bear” protective mode. He did not see it that way.

Her once finely tuned skill of silence had failed her and she felt defeated. She had to make a decision on whether to speak or be quiet, it was a one shot deal, in the blink of an eye, “Quick! say it or shut up” “Let him be happy or make him miserable” “SAY IT” “no please don’t” “DO IT NOW!” A battle ensued for what seemed like eternity but was only really seconds long. Then...she chose the wrong one. It was at that moment that she had a pain that she was oh too familiar with, the pain of loss. The gut wrenching, heartbreaking, I can’t breath pain of losing a child. The moment the cord is cut and she realizes she can do nothing to reattach it. The lonely feeling and the sadness. Much like a physical death, part of her also died today. She chose wrong… or did she?

When to speak and when to be silent? Speak when something NEEDS to be said, not necessarily because you WANT to say it. Someone may not want to hear it, but you may need to say it. Speak when it helps and doesn’t hurt. Speak when it is what you truly believe in. Speak for others when they cannot. Speak to encourage or uplift. Speak the truth even if it is only “your” truth. Speak when you are in trouble. Speak when you or someone else needs help. Speak against injustices and for kindness and compassion. Speak for those who have no voice. Speak your words honestly and from your soul. Speak about your feelings and emotions and good times and bad. They say if you see something say something. Say it LOUD! Say it boldly with every ounce of your being. Did she make the wrong choice? Maybe not. No one should ever be silenced. Those days of being seen and not heard are long gone. Not everyone will like what you have to say but it is still yours to say. They are your thoughts, your emotions and your beliefs. They don’t have to like it or agree but will be heard! She has now realized that she was right. Right to say all the things she said, no matter what the outcome was. Her honesty was raw and beautiful and full of courage. She now knows that the only silence she will accept is the silencing of her cluttered mind, other than that… there is NO time to be silent.

She loves him today as she did yesterday and every day before. She hopes that someday he will understand and forgive as she has done so many times before. She hopes he sees that sometimes her "silence" speaks volumes.

All My Love G.

Gail S.
Gail S.
Read next: Allie on the Sand
Gail S.

I am complicated, confusing and misunderstood but I am real. Don't judge me & I won't judge you. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

See all posts by Gail S.