My oldest decided a week ago that we needed to celebrate the New Year “Roaring 20s” style. With a clever look on her face, and gleam in her eye, she explained that we are entering the 2020s, so we needed to honor those other 20s.
We aren’t having a party, nor are we invited to one, but I instantly liked the idea. So, two days before New Year’s Eve, my girls and I found ourselves in the NYE aisle of a party store.
As we tried on props and tried to decide what to buy, I recieved a text that stopped my breathing. I am not exaggerating.
Another person in our lives was gone, left us way too soon. The girls and I stood in that aisle, not knowing what to do.
It took me a couple hours to get confirmation it wasn’t just a false rumor. In those hours, I had hope it was all a mistake. However, after that hope was dashed, I started trying to make sense of it all.
Thinking about the moment we found out, I realized we were getting ready to celebrate the entry into a decade that was described as roarin’ loud, while so many people are currently living in a terrible silence.
My girls and I spent the evening talking about this. My oldest had lunch with this sweet girl several times, and had many conversations with her. However, my kid’s reaction was that she had no idea that anything was wrong.
I talked to my kids about how people in pain don’t usually share that pain with others. I talked about my own pain as a child, and how my best friends had no idea what was going on in private. I talked about how there are so many reasons why many stay silent about our pain.
- Many don’t believe anyone will understand, because many think they are the only ones experiencing it.
- Many are ashamed and don’t want to show others their weakness.
- Many want the good in their lives to go untarnished, to remain their piece of good.
I can honestly say all three of those reasons are why I didn’t share my story earlier.
The New Year is just the start of another trip around the sun. You don’t wake up and magically become a new person. We all try, but truly, it is just another day.
However, the New Year does symbolize a new start, and many of us use it for a new beginning.
So, how can we begin anew and break the silence for so many living alone in pain? What is the magic trick that makes the stigmas disappear?
Listen, the silence is so thick, I still don’t know the details surrounding the three losses we have had in the past 6 months. I can’t begin to act like I know anything about them.
I do know what keeping the pain and secrets in can do to a person. I had physical ramifications for bottling it up. I had, and still have, psychological struggles.
I don’t know exactly how I survived it. I have theories, but I don’t know. I don’t have answers. If I did, or if anyone did, we would be shouting it from every corner.
I think the only thing we can try is to break the silence. It is not an easy task. It may need to start with a chip in the glass, and little taps to keep breaking it, but something needs to be done.
We need people to know they are not alone.
We need them to know they are not the only ones.
We need to break the stigmas.
Break the silence.
Call our friends.
Spend time together, beyond our screens.
Teach our children how to reach beyond their screens.
See each other.
Love each other.
And, show our scars. Show our pain.
Roar into the silence.