Silence Won't Be Stilled

Too late to make a call 
No sleep yet not awake 
Breathe deep and try to bear 
The crushing, lonely ache 

On my face, close my eyes 
My mind will not let go 
Regrets, powerlessness 
Pray for the morning's glow 

A weary soul won't rest 
An empty heart will go unfilled 
Tears can't be suppressed 
When silence won't be stilled 

Wish for a voice to hear 
Long for a loving touch 
To kiss you one more time 
One word would mean so much 

You're in my sweetest thoughts 
They comfort me and sting 
For I have always known 
You lifted everything 

In forsaken space 
Solace can't be found 
The night commands my heart 
Without the slightest sound 
In my weakness I can't fight 
So I'm calling to the light 
I'm calling to the light 
I'm calling to the light

The lyrics and music for this song developed at the same time, but not initially intended to go together. A neighbor had given us a piano (awesome, right?) and I was playing around with the chords for maybe several weeks. I wrote the words away from the piano and found out later they fit together.

The words were my response to a tragedy in the neighborhood. It was a normal night until police cars pulled up across the street. The son of my neighbors had died in a terrible accident. Of course, the parents were devastated. Everyone was shaken up. He was young, in his 20s. He also had a younger brother.

I didn't want to pretend to know the depth of loss and grief his parents suffered. That wouldn't be honest or honor their suffering. Instead, the sadness from the situation was a jumping off point to explore something I understood very well--feeling alone, sad, and afraid.

Silence can bring rest. It can also be unrelenting. It can be passive or menacing. When you are hurting and your prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling, silence can magnify your hurts and fears until you don't think you can go on. Joy might come in the morning, but there is a night to endure. Enduring is all you can do sometimes.

The realization that this life is fragile and those I love can be gone in an instant had been on my mind more than normal. It was so clear in the wake of the loss of our neighbors' son.

Several months after the accident, our family was at a local place getting ice cream and we saw his parents. We talked to them, wished them well, and promised them our prayers. Then I saw tears in the eyes of the mother as she watched my boys, who were probably doing normal brother things, like bickering.

I never told them about this song. I didn't know if telling them was appropriate. I still don't. I hope they have found a place with kind people where they can experience some healing and make sense of life as it is now. 


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