When Silence Is No Longer Peaceful

Finding solace in silence used to be easy. Now, silence follows me everywhere like a haunting presence.

The silence of the delivery room was suffocating. The silence that I knew would be present crushed me as it rolled across the room, nonetheless.

Silence speaks volumes. The silence when I walk into a room. The silence because you don’t know what to say, so you say nothing at all. Your silence on the topic that is screaming in my heart, desperate to be acknowledged. You may not hear the silence while you chat on about the fun adventures your weekend brought, but all I hear is the silence.

My mind fills in the silence with thoughts about her, replaying every single moment and combing it for significance. I try to fill in the silence any way I can in a vain attempt to divert my thoughts. I join in on the small talk, even smiling, all the while I am listening to the silence.

Say her name. Ava Lea. The deafening silence breaks for a moment, and my thoughts are no longer desperate jumbles. It is a relief every time I hear her name, like I have been drowning in the silence, and I have finally been able to come up for some air.

If there is one piece of advice I can give others who are questioning what to say when someone they know has lost a baby: say their baby’s name. Give them that. They may very well be drowning in the silence. Say their name and give them some air.

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