Today, I was given a small but worthwhile blessing in the form of an unexpected friend. This friend and I have never been particularly close, but she has always offered the kind words and support that even my closest friends can’t seem to manage. She had always said, “If you need me, I’m here.” And I’ll admit I looked the other way. Everyone says that in the moment, but when the actual crisis occurs, they’re never there. But today, on easily one of the hardest days of my life, I went out on a limb and asked for help.
Within the hour, she was sitting with me in my hammock patiently listening to me pour out my heart’s frustrations. Her warm presence was not the only part of the blessing, however.
I told her of my struggles with grief. That I was having the most difficult time with exiting the bargaining stage, that is, where I go over and over through my head all the things I could say or do to change what was happening. I told her how desperate and pathetic I felt. She nodded quietly, and told me that what I was doing was completely human, and she’s struggled with it herself. But then, she gave me a piece of wisdom that I had refused previously to consider.
“You have to realize that eventually, there is nothing else you can do. I think about it like this, and maybe it’s stupid, but it helps. Think about music. Say you’re sitting in a jazz club where musicians are playing and everyone is having a conversation, really not paying attention to what’s being played. It’s just background noise. But, when the band stops, the people stop talking. They notice the band for the first time, and only in its absence do they actually start to listen. There is nothing else you can do, Carson, but hope the silence makes him hear.”
For once, someone said exactly what I needed to hear.