in the silence there is nothing

Platypus Rock is a place where nothing happens.

I’ve been back a few times since we scattered Libby’s ashes. I’ve walked down for a look and I’ve ridden down, too. When I ride, I park at the top of the big hill and take the trail, it’s a fast descent, slippery in places because of the rain. I don’t ride with headphones anymore, I have my phone in my back pocket playing like a radio. I hear my tires on the trail, leaves swishing, traffic, my hard breathing and Madonna. For Libby, and me, and Erin, I play Madonna.

The river is high, six inches higher than it was last Monday, and the river is running fast, brown and swirling. The rock we stood on is still above water but its edges are obscured. You can see bits of Libby submerged, tiny particles of white against stone, a little like teeth, a little like gravel. She’s there allright. One day there will be no Libby left. I don’t think I’ll be alive then, I reckon it will take longer than I’ve got, but it’s okay to know that she is gradually going back to the ground. Everything does. It’s meant.

Today I took Daren back to Platypus Rock. He doesn’t drive so I picked him up for his first visit since we scattered her ashes. When I asked if he’d like to go, he said, ‘Yeah! Everyday!” He sounded like a kid at Christmas.

It’s winter, it’s rained, the mornings have been cold, the cold that makes your ears hurt and your nose run, ice on the grass, smooth white fog that like a rainbow, you can never quite get to. But the sun. It’s been so high and bright. We ditched our coats, sat on our rock and watched the river go by. No platypus today, no ducks, but finches, flying low; one dipped a wing into the water. Brrr.

While we were there Erin rang, I told her where we were and put her on speaker so she could say hi to Libby. I held my phone up like the Olympic torch, but better, and heard Erin’s, ‘Hello Libby,’ then, ‘I can’t shout, I’m at work.’ Not long ago I would have thought that was the daggiest thing. Now, I embrace dagginess. We’re doing it our way.

So we spoke to Libby, I was self-conscious at first because I’m not used to an audience. But Darren’s not just anyone, he loves Libby the most, and he was so in the moment it broke down my embarrassment. Darren talked to Libby. I talked to Libby. We talked to each other, we talked about missing and anger and love, he told me a little more about the night she died. How he thought she was sleeping, how the ambulance took only four minutes, how when he asked he if he could come to the hospital the paramedic said, ‘She’s not going to the hospital, mate.’ I told him again he’d done everything he could. I squeezed his hand. I told Darren of the comfort I took in knowing how loved she was by he and his family. It helps. And then we didn’t talk. We sat warm on our rock. And in the silence I found nothing.

The good nothing.

The brain empty of worry and sadness kind of nothing. The being there type. The nothing where if there was anything at all in my head, it was the river and the sun, the idea that we are here for one another, and possibility. But mostly nothing. I felt free.


Darren saying hi to Libby, ‘Hello, Sweet Pea’

9 thoughts on “in the silence there is nothing

  1. I am so glad I found your blog. You are so inspiring…I am struggling so much lately with t he loss of my son. He did not die in the accident in body but the sweet, loving boy that cherished me did and was replaced with a distant son who has very little to do with those who love him. I miss that boy (he is a man really but will always be my baby). Your insights during this terribly painful time in your life makes me appreciate that I do have him, and helps me to put it in a different perspective. Thank you for sharing this difficult chapter with others. Your word mean so much more than I think you ever will know.

    Hugs and prayers

    • Hi, Theresa, I don’t know what to say, I really don’t. I’m happy you have found some comfort in my blog – I’m obviously finding comfort in it, too. I’m keeping this short for fear of offending/putting my foot in my mouth, but I do care and I hope that in time things will improve (even that feels like an empty thing to say, but I know that time – and writing, and reading, and riding, and crying etc – has helped with the loss of Libby.

      forward in all directions, Nicki

      • Thank you Nicki and no worries of offending or putting your foot in your mouth =) I worried posting my post on here! But you are inspirational and I wanted you to know how much in the short time I have been reading your blog that you have helped me, I wrote a little on my blog today about my feelings and you are right it does help…I have so many friends who have lost their children in car wrecks and my son survived and I think I have survivors guilt if that makes any sense. I feel like I have no right to mourn the loss of the sweet young man I knew when he is still alive… I look forward to your posts and thank you so much for responding.

  2. Heart-breaking to read and yet I had to read it all the way through. Didn’t know what to say, but didn’t want to leave it at just “liking” the post.

  3. really beautiful writing… made me go back and read other posts to understand more, about you, about hilda, about libby… look forward to coming back here..

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