Tag Archives: silence

Something I’m Afraid Of



My grandfather died just before I was to be married. He was sick, very, very sick. I didn’t see him just before he went, but when my mother told me he looked like a different person then, I was glad I only had the memory of a big, burly man to hold on to.

I love(d) my grandfather, as I love the rest of my immediate family; but the truth is, we rarely see each other. As a child, there were more gatherings, more visits, even dinner at someone’s home. Then things faded to holidays, and when I moved out, to nothing. Phone calls are rare now, except to say “Happy Birthday” or “I’m so sorry”; the “necessities”. And then, there’s barely that. At my grandfather’s funeral, the photo collage by the front door included a picture of me on his lap, young and plump. Nothing within the past…ten years or so.

We headed to a cigar bar after, for food and drinks and cigarettes. I’ve quit smoking, but I bummed one from my mother. It felt okay to indulge after the stiffness of the morning. As our shoulders loosened we shared stories. I smiled, laughed, and then I considered how each story I played a part in happened before I ever knew who I was. I was just a child. A silly, moody child that said all the wrong things, still scolded for making mistakes. Every scenario my aunt recounted involved a time she’d been babysitting while my parents were out with friends. She was still calling me “kiddo”. If I saw more of these people in the present, would they realize I hadn’t been frozen in time as a forever-twelve-year-old? The Jack Daniels in my hand and cigarette in my lips wasn’t enough to break the image.

Maybe I’m digging too far into things. Or maybe, just maybe I’m onto something. Now that I am twenty-five, a full-fledged adult with a husband and a house, I realize my part in it all. Communication needs two  outlets to work, and I’ve come to realize mine needs some rewiring. But then, so does the other side’s.

Life is too short; taking nothing for granted; cherish your loved ones; etc., etc. All of this is true. But who takes the initiative? Me, perhaps, since I’m the one considering it all, here. But when you’ve been hurt, do you bother? I’m good at holding grudges. (Not a specialty I am necessarily proud of.) While there is a lot of love in my family, there is also a lot of hurt. Every family can relate to this.

My grandfather died just before I was married. Death happened, mourning happened, recovery began. Several people once close to me – still closest to him – were invited. None came. Fine. This is the hardest of times.

None acknowledged. Not then, not now, will not, likely, ever. I am hurt. Am I selfish? I don’t know. But I will not feel bad for feeling hurt. The time of calling for the “necessities” has come to a solid, grim end. Death happens, we hurt, we heal, life never stops.

So now I slink backward into my hole and think, every day, about whether or not I am right, about what it all means. I don’t even wish to be right, I just want to know why things are how they are. Is this love? If we don’t celebrate our milestones, then how do we define this dynamic? I want reason. I shimmy back and forth between anger and sadness, all the while not doing a damn thing about it. Not speaking out, not making an effort to yell, to ask “how are you?”. For me, now, it’s pointless.

Some who may get a hold of these words may be upset by them. But then, if they are, they’ll only feel that way if they were the ones who ignored the most important day of my life. I’ve never posted something I was afraid of. I didn’t need an audience – a man died, an important man, death shadowed everything, how can one celebrate a new life when one had only just come to an end? But words – so important. One word makes all the difference. Congratulations. Instead, nothing.

There may be some form of love there, but still, we go on in damaged silence.


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

The Sound of Silence

“Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.”

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau

When I climb into bed at night, I am the type of person who needs some sort of sound: the humming of the fan, a bed time playlist flowing from my Ipod, the dog barking at the wind next door, maybe even some Family Guy on low volume on the television.

Being with sound keeps me from being completely alone with my thoughts, something that has always triggered a deafening sadness in me. At the end of the day, as we close our eyes and attempt to rest our minds enough to drift into a cozy sleep – that’s when the stress and the negative thoughts (at least for me) dig their way to the surface. The things I said but shouldn’t have, the things I didn’t say but should have, the possibilities of the future, the impossibilities of right now, the sound of my own breath, the sound of his, the wondering of how some people go to sleep and never wake up.

But with some sort of sound, I don’t feel quite so alone, and am often able to get to sleep with minimal amounts of depressing thoughts.

The Rousseau quote up there reminded me of a dream I had a few months ago. I’ve actually had a lot of dreams about death, but I don’t see any sort of elaborate meanings lying in those dreams except my fear of our inevitable demise. It’s funny how terrified I am of it, yet I am completely obsessed with blood and gore and writing furiously about the two. Maybe there’s something to be said about that? Hm.

Anyway, this particular dream had me sitting straight up in bed once it had ended, a light coat of sweat on my forehead, my legs tangled up in the sheets, Joe still snoring peacefully next to me.

I was heading down a narrow, icy path, much like if I were a competitor in the Luge. I could feel flakes of ice on my shins as time sped up and everything around me began to blur. I felt as though I were roaring through a conduit where I was allowed to feel for one last time every shiny memory of my life: memories of birthdays, of my parents, of being an only child.

I knew what was coming, but I didn’t have time to be afraid, or to protest. Right before I woke up I was swallowed into a darkness; I mean, a completely unforgiving darkness. I may as well have gone blind, but I hadn’t. The world, my mind, everything had simply been snuffed out. But somehow I knew it had been, as if I were still there, but I wasn’t. But the darkness and the silence were so heavy. Thinking about it now gives me a lump in my throat.

The silence has always depressed me, but that dream instilled something even more traumatizing inside of me. Surrounding myself with all the noise and colors and constant busy-ness of the world helps me to focus only on the beauty of life, and how precious it is.

Sorry to get all morbid over here. But I’d like to know if anyone else feels this way about silence. I do enjoy alone time – very much so – but there always has to be a little something singing to me in the background.

If I ever find myself completely alone (let’s hope this never happens), I’ll have to listen closely to the sound of my own heartbeat, reminding me that there’s no time to be afraid.






Filed under Uncategorized, Writing