If you’ve ever spoken to someone who has witnessed a horrible atrocity in their life, they may mention to you the sound they made upon learning that their lives would be forever changed.
It’s the sound a father and mother make when two police officer knock on their door in the middle of the night with news regarding their child.
The sound a person makes when they cradle their best friend’s broken body after a car accident.
The sound a twenty-four-year-old pregnant woman makes when she learns her husband has shot himself and is lying in a pool of blood behind a door three hundred feet away from her.
If you were to ask me to try to recreate it today, I couldn’t. I can remember it in my head, but there is no sound in this memory-only silence.
Try to imagine the most wrenched, blood-curdling, agonizing wail that a human being is possibly capable of making.
….it’s worse than that.
Truthfully, I already knew Sean was dead when I spoke to the soldier on the phone that told me he’d last accessed the weapons vault at 18:45, still, I sat calmly in his office chair and stared blankly at my black and pink floral leggings awaiting the official declaration. When she came to tell me, I remember falling out of his chair into a puddle on the floor, curling up into myself and just making that sound.
Over and over and over again.
I just kept doing it, but it was like I couldn’t even hear myself. I didn’t realize how long or hard I’d be screaming until I called my parents and my voice was gone.
I wonder what sound Sean made before he died.
Perhaps a sound like the one I made?
Or perhaps it was just the sound of silence.