On Silence

May 10, 2011
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Kayla and I were skipping gym because we both hated that class. We were in the locker room; I was sitting on a bench facing a sink when she went to it. She stuck her hands under the flow of the water, then — keeping her hands there — she crouched down and hung her head, so her arms were up stretched. The pose seemed a cross between praying on her knees and child’s position. Obviously I realized something had to be wrong — I didn’t know what that was, she hadn’t said anything —- but the thing that struck me more than concern was a sense of beauty. I thought it was a beautiful outward image of an inward feeling. I sat there in silent acceptance of her’s and the world’s pain. I didn’t say anything, ask if something was wrong. It seemed inappropriate for the moment.

I don’t know if that memory would’ve ever resurfaced had it not been for her suicide several years later. If it had come up, and her suicide never took place, it would’ve stayed as I described it. A memory of a beautiful image of pain. But being as her suicide did occur — being as our dieing breath breathes life into others memories of us — it has become a fanged tapeworm tearing through my stomach, a regret eating me away inside.

I sat there in silent acceptance of her’s and the world’s pain. I did not say anything, ask if something was wrong.

Whoever said they didn’t regret anything, that their mistakes were merely lessons, must’ve been selfish, living for only themselves. I can sum up the times I have failed myself as lessons I learned the hard way, but I refuse to say that casualties are justified for the lessons we have learned from war; I will never call Kayla’s suicide a “learning experience.” My silence was the worst kind of failure.

Sometimes, when I am alone in the bathroom washing my hands, I think of that moment. Sometimes, then, I fall to that same position — keeping my hands under the water, I crouch down and hang my head so that my arms remain up stretched. Half-prayer, half-child’s position. A repentance plea to God, an appeal stating we are all eternal children who don’t know what to do, who know not what they do.

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miracle_of_hope said...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm
oh, sweetie. i love this and im sorry
AmyMarie replied...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm
thank you, it felt good to write it out.
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