You're laughing with me right?
I was on Facebook this week posting funny memes and jokes and silly videos, when I had a huge surge of guilt. More than one of my friends lost someone last week. When I first heard the news I grieved for them. It even brought back feelings from my own losses in life. My grandma. I don’t think I’ve ever “gotten over” her passing. I have merely moved on and tucked my heartache away over time, like I did with my friends’ after sending messages of sympathy. The guilt I have comes from knowing that they were still suffering that day, as I was happy-go-lucky posting stupid things on Facebook.
I can remember that the world swirled about me when my grandma died and that I was only a stationary shell in the middle of it. How empty and lost I felt because no one could save me from the pain and inability to understand the enormity of what death is. I must admit that I lost my religion when my grandma died and even part of myself. My healing took years and for many, I was angry.
Sorting through these feelings and reliving my own truth brought me my own understanding why we have a moment of silence for those who have died. I don’t think I had ever looked at it from this perspective. I was always focused on the person who died and what their life was in that moment of silence. (We have a lot of these in the military.) I think that’s what we’re meant to do too. But maybe it’s more for those left behind. Maybe it’s to stop the world from spinning for a short time and allow the survivor a breath of peace. Peace from the noise of everything being normal around them while their life is turned upside down.
I thought about that while my life went on this week, busy and normal. Safe- untouched by that merciless thing we call death, yet fully aware of how vulnerable we all are to it. I thought of the people I know and don’t know who are grieving and how unfair it is. No one knows the right thing to do or to say for survivors, even though we’ve all been through it. We send flowers, cards, make food… but really there is no way to heal a heart from the outside.
The only thing I can think to do for my friends, for yours, and maybe for you, is to offer a moment of silence. To anyone who is suffering right now. As if that’s some sort of magical wand… it’s not. But when you read these words, let the outside world go and just be present. Know that there are people who care deeply for you and allow yourself to feel the love and empathy of everyone in the world who has experienced that pain. Know that we are all trying to stop the world for you, take a deep breath, and please accept this moment of silence.
With Love, Jenn