Silence doesn’t hide anything. Silence doesn’t mean terrible events aren’t happening, or someone isn’t suffering, just because we don’t know about them or hear from the person.

I tend not to watch the news, because it can be very depressing. Here in Fremantle, where we had a little rain and the bush fires haven’t been too bad at all, it would be easy to live in denial of the horrific impacts the bush fires over East are still having. There’s heavy rain forecast in some of the affected areas, in the next few days. This will help with the bush fires, but I suspect will bring more difficulties to people already suffering.

Not hearing from a friend doesn’t mean they are OK. Many times yes, they are fine and just busy living life. However, always ask … if someone is struggling for whatever reason, despite offers of help and an assumption that they know you’ll be there for them, it can just get too hard.

Offering real, tangible help is different. A mug of tea, a pot of soup, an hour’s baby-sitting, half an hour clean up around the house, all that is invaluable and the impact not to be under-estimated. Visiting our towns and villages impacted by the bush fires, not staying away because the natural beauty has disappeared, means so much to the people trying to rebuilt their lives.

Just listen to this song, ignore the advert at the start or skip past it

Silence like a cancer grows

Hear my words that I might teach you

Take my arms that I might reach you”

But my words like silent raindrops fell

And echoed

In the wells of silence

Simon & Garfunkel

There’s a peace, and tranquillity to silence, particularly when it’s a shared, companionable silence with no need for words. Just; not when the silence is hiding a silent scream.

I was, and am still, being helped through this journey of recovery, by so many people. Food cooked for me, shopping dropped off, lifts to events, company in peaceful surroundings, it all helped and is helping so much. I didn’t need to ask for the help, it was offered.

For anyone who is thinking about this treatment, or anything similar, it’s so important to get your help networks set up before you go. That could be friends, family, online shopping delivery, whatever works in each unique situation. Everyone needs different amounts of support.

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