Filling the Silence

It’s a common occurrence that when people know you’re a writer, you get asked to write speeches or messages in greeting cards on behalf of everyone else. They assume that because you craft prose for fun (or for a living, if you’re lucky), you will always have the right words for the occasion.

Sometimes, there simply are no words.

When faced with a situation like the Boston Marathon bombing yesterday, condolences are empty. Justifications do no justice, and the best intended reassurances sound like weak platitudes.

What can you say to the people who have lost a limb or two? To a parent with a child badly injured or killed? How about everyone who turned out to celebrate others’ triumph and ended up in a festival of blood instead? How do you explain that those with only shrapnel wounds were the “lucky” ones?

We fill the silence by cursing, by pointing fingers, by demanding justice. We call in experts to share their views on what lies ahead, on national security, on what would drive someone to do such a thing. We use inane chatter to mask the bewilderment and the horror and the fear and most of all, the aching grief for the lives forever changed.

Already people are blaming the American government for its actions in the Middle East, the left is blaming the right, and vice versa. People are swearing vengeance. I have no doubt someone in the political arena is hard at work figuring out how this can be used to further their own political agenda.

So please, everyone, shut the hell up. Offer your shoulder or a hug, or care for those who are hurting. Respond with what you do for others instead of recrimination and retaliation. In the silence, allow the pain to be a memory not only of the victims, but of the terrible, terrible price we pay when we are determined to make others suffer just as we are suffering.

Then we’ll have something worth talking about.


Leanne Yong’s thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the bombing. Check out her blog at Clouded Memories for more information and a journal chronicling her latest foray into novel writing.
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5 thoughts on “Filling the Silence

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  1. When someone writes an piece of writing he/she maintains the idea of a user in his/her mind that how a user can be aware of it.

    So that’s why this post is great. Thanks!

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