Never hear from the dead.

The silence of the dead is deafening

When I was twelve years old I rode my bike twenty miles to sit at my brother’s grave. I talked to him through the earth. I asked him if he could hear me.

He was my older brother, twenty-four when he died on the side of the road, his head cradled in the arms of his best friend. His best friend had been driving the car and took a bend in the road too fast.

I have never received an answer from my brother.

When I was in my forties I sat on a balcony in Miami and asked my son (a Star Trek fan) to send me a signal from space, a sign that he was aware in some unknown dimension or otherworld or æthereal state of wave-being.

He was twenty-three when he swallowed enough barbiturates to kill himself three times over.

I have never received a signal from my son.

Now I am in my seventies and I sit in an armchair in the living room—now known as the dead room—of my bungalow on County Road 9 and pray to my wife to send me a sign that she can hear me, anything will do I tell her, the slightest hint, the briefest sensation, the merest brush of some sort of presence of her spirit.

For a day and a night I sat at her bedside in Intensive Care and held her hand in mine. She was deeply unconscious but her hand was warm in mine. I took that as a sign of life, of hope. I sat there for hours. Her hand grew cold.

I am still in the dead room, praying for a sign from my wife, a glimmer of hope that she is aware in some empyrean sphere.

My hope-beyond-hope spiritual longings appear to be hopeless. I conclude from these futile attempts to commune with the dead that if you wait long enough, nothing happens.

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15 thoughts on “The silence of the dead is deafening

  1. Hey, Brother Mich, I also sit here trying to get some word/sign from my Susan, but I am afraid there is an Iron Curtain between Life/Death. Only works in our imagination; I sit here talking to her, but not a word in reply! Mean-while not a word from her kids to me, sitting here in Limbo, but at least they haven’t served me with an eviction notice, that would just kill me! Hang in there Brother, I am rooting for you! George,

  2. Two septuagenarians 3,360 miles apart trying to commune with their Susans — whose whereabouts can only be found by the Silver Surfer, who can travel through the Universe faster than the speed of light and can manipulate time and space.

  3. Brother Mich, Aloha, Guess what I found in the Liquor Store today? A New bottle of Ryan’s Irish Style Cream Liqueur made with imported Irish Whiskey, 17% Alcohol, that, when mixed with Vodka, has this wonderful Smoky flavor to die for, taste like Peat Bogs…..I am going to hunt down and buy 100 bottles of it, way, way better than Kahlua…..I just told my good neighbor across the way how much fun I am having all alone, not having to worry about offending any-one with my drum playing, or sitting up^ writing at any hour of the day, or just eating some-thing only when I get Hungry…..I also told them to watch the almost Full Moon Set across the Cook Inlet from their big Front Window! ~~~~~So busy at 7 AM…….George……

  4. Yo, George, I’ll look for a bottle of Ryan’s and try your new beverage, the Peat Bog special; I tried the Vodka-Vermouth-Kahlua—not bad. You got a good life up there—I’m tempted to take the 10-hour flight from JFK —>ANC (via SEA) but with 5 hours of daylight best to wait until after winter.

  5. Good idea Mich, especially since I do not have a place for you to sleep yet, except on the floor, as Susan’s kids have not come through for me yet….I wonder if we can out-live them? I just smoked a bowl of bud brother & between that and the new Ryan’s I am feeling in seventh Heaven. I just toss another log on the fire, & my home stays at 70-72 degrees…..I looked out my front window (all decorated with Lights) tonite and watched the almost full moon set over the Cook Inlet, behind the Volcano’s over there, I even told my neighbors to watch it! I am having a Great Time, and it is all my own fault, for preparing the WAY…..Think about this Mich….I can Play on my drums, I can play them for my FIRE, and then my FIRE warms Up^ this house to 72 degrees; the perfect temperature! When I fall asleep & wake UP^ it is just like I left it; 72 degrees; It is like the Great Gods are looking after me; or; maybe Susan……Good Day to Live Brother…..

  6. Hey Mich, how many bullets did the madman fire into my Hero John Lennon? four or five? Not that it matters, He is dead…..My Favorite song for this Earth is “Imagine” Going to rest now, VA Tomorrow, at least I hope so, Monday was supposed to be the day, but the Taxi never showed UP^ so I was left sitting there, all dressed up^ and WAITING all DAY……

  7. He fired five bullets, emptying the chamber of that .38 special, and four hit John Lennon. Initial news reports said Lennon was hit seven times, but that turned out to be wrong.

  8. I am so so so devastated to read this.. the age difference between the two was marginal and as Mark Wolynn points in his book It Didnt Start With You on multigenerational trauma our descendants carry unexpressed pain from parents or grand parents or even great grand parents and may end up suffering a death or an accident or becoming so called ‘bi polar’ at a similar age to an unspoken tragedy.. My heart goes out to you. but there is only one thing I can say I just know they are both close to you Mich.. I truly believe that but the sadness you must carry well that is just not nameable in any form.. A big hug to you… and please know you are deeply loved. <3