Have you noticed how great it is to hear the name of your loved one? It’s been over a year since my best friend/mom died – a year of silence. It all that time no one has spoken her name at all. Then the other day I heard it and warm happiness filled my heart.
After a loved one dies and after the funeral, it can be a long time before you hear their name mentioned in conversation. You don’t notice it’s missing because in grief you think about them all the time. But the day will come when someone casually says their name and you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve missed hearing it. It’s as though your loved one’s existence expands again beyond you and your thoughts. They suddenly are present in the world again, if even for a brief moment.
I never appreciated the sweet sound of hearing a name, and the validation of life it brings. I never realized how the absence of their name spoken shrinks their existence to a hidden place in my mind. I didn’t understand the significant loss of a name dropped from conversation. All those months without hearing her name reduced her to just the memories I carry. That is the pain, the heartache of a name silenced by death.
And then a beautiful thing happens when you hear their name. They take their rightful place in reality again.