Silence isn't empty books and stories free download online pdf in English

Silence isn't empty

"Dear Rosetta, my darling Rose! Will I ever find solace in your absence? I really don't know how to live without you."

Rowan speaks out loud, whilst he places the lilies down and is on his knees, in front of a three months old grave. He's a young man, in his thirties and the soul he lost is his wife. I've been seeing him do this everyday. He's still grieving over her and his lamenting hasn't faded an inch.

Wearily he gets up and comes and sits on the bench next to me. While he still has tears in his eyes, he looks my way, giving me a weak smile. I smile back in sympathy. I know that pain, I've gone through it. Quiet minutes pass between us, as we keep gazing at the expanse of the cemetery in front of us.

He turns towards me and clears his throat.
"Mrs. John, can I ask you something?"
"How long did it take for you to come to terms with your husband's loss?"
I try and sink in his query and take a few moments before replying.
"Mason and I lived a deeply satisfying fifty years together. It's been almost two years, since he's not there with me physically. We don't have any children, therefore after him, suddenly, I found myself all alone."

Taking interest, Rowan interrupts me.
"Oh My God! Fifty years!! It must have been so difficult."
Giving him a rueful smirk, I continue.
"In the beginning, I cried a lot and blamed the universe for being unfair to me. Just like you."
Rowan cups his mouth as a lone tear escapes his eye.
"It's only been three months, and life is a living hell without Rose. How did you survive two years? And... moreover, now you seem so calm and serene."

I turn my face to catch a glimpse of Mason's grave and blow him a kiss.
"I'll be lying, if I say, this transformation was easy. It wasn't. There was one quote, which Mason loved a lot, and it's true meaning I perceived after he left me."
"What's that?"
"Silence isn't empty, it's full of answers."

Purposely, I go mute. I want Rowan to dwell on what I said. I truly wish to help him come out of his grief and start living his life. I don't glance at him. But I hear him breathe a ragged sigh and complain.... again.
"Without Rose, that's all that is left in my life. Silence and emptiness."

Keeping a hand on his shoulder, I say gently,
"Son, you didn't understand. What I meant was, instead of wallowing in your sorrow all the time, utilise the silence in your life positively."
He shrieks, bunching his hair in fists and shaking his head vigorously.
"But how? How?"

I don't think it would be right to pinpoint at him. So I turn the conversation back on myself.
"Mason always kept telling me, Mia, peep within. Keep calm and that will help you connect with yourself. In silence, you'll find solutions to all your problems."

Rowan wipes his tears and glances at me, that encourages me to go on.
"Unfortunately Rosetta passed away while she was still young. Of course you miss her. Nonetheless, instead of crying endlessly, find ways in which you can pay your homage to her, in the best possible way."

I take his hand in mine and pat it.
"Think son, maybe now you can dedicate your time to fulfill some of her unfinished dreams, or perhaps become the man she wanted you to be. Possibly, there's someone she wished to meet and couldn't. You can accomplish all that."

Rowan crosses his arms over his chest and looks awestruck, as if he's received enlightenment.
"You know Rowan, Mason taught me this, while he was still there. Maybe he was preparing me to live without him. Moreover, in these two years, I've tried to live all that he had dreamt of and couldn't. I come here everyday, talk to him and tell him all that transpired from sunrise to sunset. And believe me, I actually feel he's listening to me. I feel we are still together, as if he hasn't gone anywhere."

I look at Rowan and wink before joking,
"Of course, nights are a different story."
He chuckles.

We both stand and coming to me, he takes my hands in his, as he repeats the quote,
"Silence isn't empty, it's full of answers. Wow! What a noble thought Mrs. John! You gave some relief to my grief. Thank you so much."
I pat his cheek and say,
"Son, there's both chaos and silence all around. It's our choice, what we wish to imbibe in us."

Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he gives me a cursory nod, and while we walk out of the cemetery, he banters,
"Please keep dropping a few doses of your saintly advice on me, at least for a few months. I'll need it."

I grin, before waving him goodbye.

Shamim Merchant, Mumbai

Shades of Simplicity

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