For those who suffer in silence

By Steve Wickham

On the same day as I attended training for dealing with abuse I met up with like minded others to discuss the make-up of a conference for silent grief. Loss connects them both.

Loss connects so much of the kind of life we never thought possible – until we are confronted and then confounded by grief. And if grief has blindsided you, chances are high that you’re suffering in silence. In abuse, too. So often.

Suffering and silence are correlated.

They double the other’s effect.

They’re like identical twins.

They enmesh in grief.

But it doesn’t finish there. There is hope. It’s in silence, where we’re bereft of human contact or empathy (or both), where the opportunity’s pregnant to have a divine encounter.

But this article is not really about that – I write plenty on that subject.

This is about saying I hear you, and there are those out there who exist for you; yes, their whole life purpose is to enter that struggle and silence and suffering with you, if you’ll have them there with you. Not to advise you, but to make the journey a little less lonely and a little more meaningful.

For those who suffer in silence, there are plenty out there who do identify, and when you connect with these people, there is a light-bulb moment for the both of you.

Perhaps you enjoy your independence. Good for you. But even those who are independent face loneliness, boredom and the excruciating reality of grief when they’ve suffered loss.

There is a lot to be said for gathering with those you can depend on for your independence. This is about entering the fray of life and taking a risk to enter the lives of others. Only to the point of balance I mean. And you just might find someone who really wants to know how you are and how well (or not) you’re coping.

Maybe you’re suffering in silence and you’re not ready to venture out yet. Perhaps you really don’t see any hope. That could just be how you’re feeling today. You’re forgiven for feeling that. Nobody ought to judge you, and perhaps you can see if God doesn’t judge you for it, you can go a little easier on yourself, too. If you’re already suffering in silence.

Suffering in silence takes a certain kind of resigned bravery. It takes the sort of strength many people have no idea about. It is strength in weakness. It is God’s strength, and whether you feel God or not, He is close.

By Steve Wickham