Today I have a blog post at MOPS’ Hello Darling blog. I originally titled it When Silence Screams ‘I Love You’ because sometimes when no words are spoken you’re able to more clearly hear the message of care. It’s a story of when friends loved me and my children with actions more than words.
And how often have I experienced that silent but steady presence of others? So many I can’t recount them all. When those who love me well have hugged, have passed the tissue box. Not filling space with words to avoid dealing with my pain, but recognizing that the discomfort of the situation is inevitable and words can’t fix what I’m experiencing. So they stay quietly. The thing is, they stay.
I try as often as I can to give my friends the gift of presence with silence. Though I’m a words person, I sometimes use the phrase “There are no words” to convey my grief on behalf of my friend. Because sometimes there just aren’t beyond “I’m sorry you’re hurting.” Anything else feels forced and trite.
I want to be the kind of friend who is able to sit in the pain with someone. And so the wiping of tears, the presence, the being near without being overbearing is my goal. And though I may want to talk to fill up the space, I try to hold my tongue and listen. Maybe ask a few open-ended questions, but maybe not. To be available in friendship can look and sound like lots of different tones.
Silence can be a beautiful sound. One that is loud with the screams of love.