...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I’ve never lost a child. Or a parent. I don’t know what that feels like. I can’t imagine. My boys are at school right now and I’m trying to remember their voices and I can’t. As much as my thoughts have been consumed by Friday’s tragedy, it’s incomparable to what families and friends of the victims are experiencing.

I know when things are sometimes chaotic at my house, I wish for peace and quiet. But when I get what I wish for {i.e. the boys are spending the night at Grandpa’s and Mabrey is sleeping}, after only a few moments the silence is deafening. It feels unfamiliar and eery. I turn on music or the TV to mask the silence.

I’m guessing there are many “too quiet” homes in Connecticut today. It’s the kind of quiet that no words of solace can fill up. It’s the kind of quiet that can’t be broken by a radio or a television. It’s the kind of quiet that is heavy. It’s the kind of quiet that is silent to onlookers but as loud as hell to those experiencing it on the inside.

In an act of empathy, will you please join me in capturing slices of silence today? Moments of reflection as well as moments of true silence. Silence of the mind. Stop your words. Stop your thoughts.┬áBe present. Hear all the sounds of life around you. Don’t think about them – just experience them. Be grateful for them. Find peace within them.

The ring of an alarm clock…the birds tweeting outside…the sound of a running refrigerator…bustling traffic…pelting raindrops…a barking dog…a baby’s shallow breaths…noisy kids.

18 Comments

17.December.2012

I’ve been doing this all weekend. Right now I’m enjoying listening to my daughter scream and then laugh because she thinks its silly. I am blessed. I have a terrible headache from crying and thinking about what happened but I don’t want to her stop screaming and laughing. It’s comforting.

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17.December.2012

I’ve been thinking this exact thing all weekend. I cannot imagine coming home to the deafening silence. The reminders of a child throughout the house with toys, laundry, art projects…my heart is just broken for those families.

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17.December.2012

Yes. It’s a time to grieve, appreciate, heal, and just be, with many hugs and “I love yous” to those who enrich our lives.

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17.December.2012

Well said, Dana. We woke up without power this morning and the silence was eerie. I can only imagine the horrific level of silence in those Newton homes. I’m counting down the minutes until my chatter box comes home.

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17.December.2012

Well said. Thank you for showing such respect and writing such beautiful words.

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17.December.2012

What a beautiful post. Thank you for the reminder to count our blessings in both quiet times and loud.

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17.December.2012

I have read many articles and posts over the last few days, but yours really touched me. Thank you.

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17.December.2012

Thank you for this post today. Your thoughtfulness and heart-felt words are exactly what I needed to read as I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking of all the families that have lost a child (or other loved one) due to Friday’s events. I feel their pain in small spurts, but then remind myself that I cannot, even in my worst dreams, fathom the loss they’re suffering – the quiet, the permanence, the despair. I simply pray that peace will somehow infiltrate their aching hearts and that the rest of us will love and appreciate our kids, the sounds, the chaos…all the more.

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17.December.2012

Well said. Let’s also remember them in our prayers each day.

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17.December.2012

Thanks for sharing… beautiful thoughts. I agree.

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17.December.2012

I DO know what it’s like to lose a child and yes…THAT silence is deafening beyond your wildest imagination! There are even times when you think you are in a Twilight Zone episode and it will only be a matter of time when you wake up after actually hearing your child’s voice in your head! There is beauty in hearing and feeling the presence of God to help you along the way until you get to a place where you can actually smile when a memory pops into your head. THAT’S when silence is your comforting friend and makes your thought ever so personal in its own beautiful way

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17.December.2012

Thank you for this.

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17.December.2012

Beautifully stated. I cannot begin to wrap my head around this and the families involved. Children are such a blessing and I guess we can only imagine the deafening silence in those homes.

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17.December.2012

Thank you for posting this today. This tragedy sent me into a downward spiral of depression all weekend and today. My son is 7 and in first grade and it makes me think about what the teachers and the students saw and felt on Friday. Thoughts I shouldn’t be thinking about because I feel so fragile. If I, being in CO so far away, feel this fragile, I can’t even understand the pain that CT is going through. It is scary to think that our teachers and students have to go to school and learn about how to be safe if a gun man enters. Something our district talked about today preparing for the future. Usually, I’m irritated to do homework at night and then clean up dinner and then ask repeatedly for them to brush their teeth and get ready for bed, but tonight I don’t care. I just want them to be…be here with me.

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18.December.2012

Well said. I’m going to make a point to do this today, and more often. I take things for granted too much. My children are growing up and I lament it. But, God, the alternative. . .

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18.December.2012

We are so horrified all the way down here in Australia. Here we have the occasional gang related drive by shooting where one bullet hole in a house from a sawn-off shotgun heads the evening news. Automatic weapons in suburbia? My 6 year old daughter is on summer holidays already, I don’t know how I would have sent her off to school otherwise.
Unimaginable tragedy.
No more words.

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19.December.2012

I knew you would address this well

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Goosebumps. Thank you for such a well-written post.

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