“Hello Darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again.”
— Simon & Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence (1966)
Emotions truly have such a vapid range in conjunction with the depths of life’s most shattering experiences. We may be quickly left numb, without word or expression to explain how we truly feel, for feeling can be a luxury some hours cannot afford. And then other hours we feel too much; vanquished is every sense of peace; we awake, again, and we wonder why; we want it over and done with already. Loss is just too stark. The dark night of the soul is retrieved and seems never ending.
There are some moments in life, some entire seasons, where words are so completely inadequate and, more to the point, inappropriate. Yet people will seek to cheer us however they can, not knowing just how futile some expressions of condolence will be.
Sounds of Silence for the Darkness Time
So in this time of darkness, a period where light is vacuous, where we are intruded upon by atrocities unrelenting, there are but groans that work in sending our pleas to God.
Beyond the groan of a fatigued heart, with only the energy to bear a whimper, there is the sound of silence that speaks in deafening terms.
Such silences are thick with meaning, but not usually what we can express with words. There is the sound of silence in the pain we feel, in greeting the darkness time. There is the sound of silence in the presence of a loved one or friend comforting us. Or, perhaps we are the ones doing the comforting. We may both feel useless or more than completely worthy, or any other emotion on the spectrum between.
Sounds of silence are unutterable. They impeach our gallant selves and our grief takes us to new lows, where silence is the only dignified and dutiable thing we can do.
What we discuss here is completely esoteric. Fancy words and fancy meaning have nothing on the truth in the silence. Fancy words and fancy meaning are but a chasing of the wind, but they may help us in our denial, or help us to derive some eventual meaning.
We won’t always feel bereft for words or meaning, of course, but some circumstances and components of grief do last. This is why we need a faith in God; by a faith that casts its worries upon a Saviour who dispenses the peace we need when we need it.
Words cannot touch some grief. There are losses and times of pain where silence is the order of the day. When we can only groan, God hears our groans, and we can receive the healing touch more than just as much without words. Words may cheapen our grief, whereas silence dignifies the depth of our loss.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.