When Silence Becomes the Enemy After Losing a Child


In the wee small hours of the morning, if you listen closely, you can hear it.

Silence.

Silence, when there should be a baby crying for a 2 a.m. feeding.

Silence, when my husband and I should be debating whose turn it is to get up.

Silence, instead of sweet moans of contentment as a baby sucks down warm milk.

Some would say silence is golden. No doubt, there are some haggard, overworked parents at the point of exhaustion who would give just about anything for a moment’s peace. But for us, silence means a death sentence. For us, silence means we walked out of the hospital empty-handed. For us, silence feels like a cruel joke.

Sometimes silence feels like the enemy.

Sometimes silence happily mocks my pain.

Sometimes silence is the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. For a while, that silence tried to consume me. It slithered up and surrounded me so there was no chance of escape. It coiled itself around my neck in a stranglehold and squeezed so tight I could barely breathe. After rendering me powerless, it rammed itself down my throat and possessed me, body and soul.

And there are those who liked me that way. They would much rather me suffer in silence and play the quiet game. They think it’s time for me to “get over it.” They want me  to “buck up and move on.” They don’t like being made to feel uncomfortable by the mentioning of his name.

But losing a child is not something you get over. You can’t just move on when your flesh and blood is buried beneath the ground, or turned to ashes in an urn above the fireplace, or scattered in the wind and waves of a turbulent sea. They continue to speak to us with voices that are otherworldly. Changing us from the people we used to be. The old has gone. We are being made new.

This new me can’t suffer in silence. That’s not how you win this quiet game. Because he lives each time I write about him. He comes alive when I say his name.

Cohen.

RESOURCES FROM NICU HELPING HANDS

If you’re a family who needs help with neonatal intensive care, please visit Project NICU, One-on-One Mentoring Program, Family Assistance Program, NICU Mom Connect, or Angel Gown® Program.

Son of Charles and Andrea. Little brother of Chad. Big brother of Sarah, Hannah, and Savannah.

He’s a part of us. A family of seven. One of us just so happens to live in heaven.

Forgive me if you feel uncomfortable. Just scroll past me in your news feed. I don’t mean to be an inconvenience. This is just me being the new me.


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