I’ve noticed that silence can be a really uncomfortable idea for a lot of people. I’m sure this isn’t new, and I absolutely know that I’m not saying anything groundbreaking here, but I don’t think I’ve ever really taken a step back and tried to understand why. Until now anyway.
And just to keep things completely transparent, I’ve only even now noticed because I’ve had a few people comment about mine recently.
I guess I’ve never inherently defaulted anyone’s silence to being related to something negative or unpleasant, but somehow our general culture tends to see it this way.
That’s confusing to me.
I like silence, a lot actually. I like being still. I like self-reflection.
I can’t imagine being stuck in a constant state of chatter. That thought alone gives me anxiety. I don’t function well in unnecessary chaos. I never have.
I think I was asked at least 10 times last week if I was “okay,” or “upset,” based solely on the fact that I was just quiet. Not even silent. Just not overtly friendly.
Granted, typically I am very outgoing and I honestly do love connecting with people, but just like everyone else I have my needed moments of solitude. And not due to being bothered or anything in relation to that. Sometimes I’m just looking for a little room to breathe.
Plus I don’t think I see the world around me, like everyone else around me. And not solely because of my son either. I’ve always thought a little bit differently than most everyone I know. Granted, Kamren’s life has brought such a wonderful and inspiring perspective that I lacked prior.
But let’s also throw in the fact that my life these days has so many little triggers that most people wouldn’t expect, myself included. I’m not even aware of all of my triggers yet, and honestly I probably never will be. They’re very fluid, directly correlated with both my grief and my love for him.
Case in point: I was refilling a Brita water pitcher at a friend’s house the other day, because I’m not a jerk who leaves those empty after I pour the last real glass. Before switching to drinking a gallon of water a day straight from the gallon, I relied pretty heavily on one of these. And it used to annoy the hell outta me when someone would empty it and leave it in the fridge with enough water to maybe fill a shot glass. Either way, refilling a water pitcher wouldn’t typically have much of an emotional impact on the standard person. With me however, totally new and different story.
It took about 5 seconds into this process before my thoughts pulled me back into my kitchen in Tampa, to the exact moment of hearing the soul shattering sound of Kamren’s dad yelling for me to call 911. Because when he went to grab Kam from his bassinet, that is exactly what I was doing. I was refilling our Brita pitcher. I will never forget the way his voice cracked through the panic. It is literally burned into my brain, every decibel identifiable.
When we came back to the house for the first time after Kam passed away, I remember walking into the kitchen and seeing that damn pitcher there half filled. I don’t know that I’ve ever thrown something so hard in my life. I didn’t care where the water went, I just needed it out of my sight. There was so much anger and hurt in that moment. And I berated myself thinking, if I would have just had my son in my arms instead of this stupid pitcher, he would still be here.
Obviously that thought was more than misguided, fueled by every negative emotion possible. But for about 30 seconds Saturday morning, I relived that all over again. That exact same thought pushing forward, 17 months later. And no, in case you’re wondering there was no pitcher throwing that occurred this time, but there was water that was spilled back into the sink from the tremors in my hand.
I don’t think I became any more quiet after this, but it was absolutely one of those moments where the processing began.
Shadow days, I suppose.
Either way, the quiet of these days will always be welcomed in my world.
The stillness of the silence bringing me back to the strength in my own light.