Silence Has The Loudest Voice

Some days are better than others.

I say that over and over, to everyone who asks how I am.

Honestly, the truth is more that some moments are better than others. I can’t remember when I last had an entire day that wasn’t filled with sadness and emptiness and tears, intertwined with little bits of happiness.

The happiness is real, but it fades so quickly, acquiescing to the sadness like a scolded child.

I smile and laugh out loud over a goofy text message conversation with David. I take pride in Lakin’s excited tale of how she helped her team win the intramural basketball game. I grin at Addah moving like Jagger in the back seat on the way to school.

And as soon as I am alone again, I feel the hollow sadness settle back down over me, making it painful to function and hard to want to.

I miss my baby.

I miss her every moment of every day, and the nights are worse. The nights are often impossible, leaving me awake and fumbling for words to convey what I’m feeling at 4:00 in the morning, knowing that I have to be awake and alert at 6:45 to drive the kids to school and David to work. I don’t mind that part, doing for my family. It’s coming home to a silent house that I dread.

I should be hurrying home to nurse my baby, worrying over whether she’s gaining enough or too much weight, complaining that she kept me up all night because she’s going through a growth spurt. I would gladly {gleefully} stay up all night for that, every day of the week.

I should be doing those things, but I am not, because my baby is gone, passed away, lost… dead. In the place of my beautiful baby girl, I have silence, which I fill by trying to do a lot of things and not actually doing a whole lot, most days.

I spend far too many long minutes scrolling through pictures of the babies in my due date groups, tormenting myself by imagining what Clara would look like, what she would be doing. I feel an unsettling mixture of sadness and anger and bitterness and contentment, watching these babies grow up and knowing that my girl never will. I try to capture my grief in photographs, but there is no photograph that shows how empty I feel on the inside… how light my arms feel with no baby in them.

Yesterday was one year since we found out we were pregnant with her. So many hopes, gone. We want another baby, but our hearts aren’t really in it. Not yet. We’re stuck in what feels like an endless cycle of coping and grieving and propping each other up until the next time one of us collapses into tears.

There’s no solution, no easy answer to this one. My usual responses to this kind of bleak depression are no longer an option, so there’s no bottle to put down, no drugs to quit taking, no failing relationship to end, bleeding wound to bandage, or stressful job to quit. There’s just each day, coming at me like a freight train, loud and manic in the mornings and evenings, and tragically silent all day long.

I miss my baby.

I have to carry on through each day and try to make a happy life for us. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, coping with depression, trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps and figure out how to incorporate this intense pain and loss into the happiness that comes naturally, from living in a loving family with goofy kids and a young-at-heart husband.

It’s awful, and I fail often, but I am trying.

There are times when silence has the loudest voice.
~ Leroy Brownlow ~
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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

Latest posts by Heather O. (see all)

  • Heather, I can relate to some of what you are going through, even though not to the full extent. we lost our nephew, at 8 weeks old, to SIDS 4 weeks ago. he would have been 3 months today. i can imagine how hard the nights are, and being alone. allow yourself to be alone though, and to go through this grief. give yourself time, lots and lots of time. and savour all those little moments of happiness that you are able to experience. thinking of you, and wishing you much strength to carry on!!

  • I am so sorry for your family’s loss, Sylvia. Thank you for your kind words.

  • Bethany

    I remember so well the feelings that you describe of momentary happiness mixed with overwhelming feelings of sorrow. Now that we are reaching three years, the moments of joy are more than sadness but every now and then I’m surprised to find that the feelings of grief are still buried inside me and reappear when I least expect them.

  • Bethany, I’m glad to know you, and to have your perspective on this, since you are further into this journey than we are. Much love to you and your family!

  • Kat Biggie

    Yes, silence does. Hugs Heather. I understand completely, and I feel this with you. xoxo

    • Much love to you, Alexa. I wish neither of us understood these feelings, but I’m grateful to have found you as a friend, through our losses.