Grief Journal: Nature Abhors a Vacuum

They say nature abhors a vacuum.

There’s a big empty, unfilled space in our home and hearts right now. The absence of our son has created a vacuum in our lives– a blank, energy-sucking hole where he used to shine. 

He was a loud kid and he made us a loud family. Our house has three-and-a-half levels, so we called up and down the stairs a lot. We yelled for the kids to come home, from wherever they were playing in our neighborhood, or the yard. We played music so he and his sister could have dance parties while I cooked dinner. 

And my ADHD son was just naturally loud—and as much as I tried to be quiet and calm, sometimes the only way to get through to him was to be loud, too. Holding back his emotions was not ever his issue. Instead, his emotions washed over him and he was as loud in his joy as he was in anger or sorrow. He loved to talk and sing and from the time he could speak (very early), he narrated his life with glee—“pew pew”-ing, “vroom vroom”-ing as he played, describing his LEGO builds, and singing along with his video games. (He often posted acapella versions of his favorite game theme songs on his YouTube channel.)  He loved music. “Turn it up, Mom!” he’d beg from the back seat whenever a favorite song come on, so he could “rock out.” Even in his sleep, he was noisy—he talked and even sometimes walked in his sleep. 

Now, it’s so quiet. My daughter is a delightful chatterbox, but she talks and plays at a reasonable volume. My oldest has entered the teenage years, where a grunt speaks volumes, and he too has always been a fairly quiet child. 

My middle child was the loud one, the one that took up a lot of space, physically and emotionally. The one that demanded attention. The one that, once he wound down for the day, loved nothing more than cuddling with mom and watching tv.

There’s a vacuum of silence, an empty space where my son used to live, and the only thing I seem to have to fill it are tears, quiet and raw. 

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