The shocking death by suicide of comedic actor Robin William has catalyzed some thoughts I am still musing about, the unexpressed grief that some people go through. We all need to be more sensitive, discerning even, but even then we would miss some still.
Can you wrap your brain around the level of grief Williams was experiencing that would prompt him to take his own life?
Imagine the trauma of losing a pregnancy or several pregnancies through miscarriage when none of your friends even know that you are or were ever pregnant. Compound this, in a Church you are a single woman but become pregnant after ‘tiefing a likkle piece’ (=engaging in premarital sex) and suffer a similar fate. Who could you dare ask for prayer support let alone empathy? Silent grief.
Then consider having been raped or seduced by someone whom you trust and respect and whose reputation would be given preference to your allegation. Jesus’ prayer on the cross for forgiveness of his detractors would not even come to your mind twice. The grief of living silently with that scar has mentally fractured many and made murderers of yet others.
The peculiar never-dying pain of losing a loved one we can all identify with but who would even try to see your side if you caused a friend or loved one to be gravely injured or killed because you were too afraid to attempt to do anything to prevent this? Who really? Real grief plus golden silence.
Finally, a not so rare source of silent grief is being stuck in a loveless, sexless marriage and worse without a child to mitigate what seems to be wasted years.
These and many other situations are sources of silent grief for people who, like Robin Williams, appear to friend and family to be A-okay but are really enduring silent grief until…