Silence and the Words That Fill it

Emma has been writing stories to give as Christmas presents to a couple of special people in her life.  It is an exhausting process for her and one that takes a great deal of time.  As the person who is witnessing and encouraging her to keep going, it is always revelatory.  Her gift to me is her ongoing commitment to keep showing up for the hard work that is required of her to communicate in ways most people consider most important, with words.   However as I sit with her I am increasingly aware of how much, those of us who are talkers, often miss.   Because of my daughter, I have a heightened appreciation for the beauty of silence words seek to fill.

I cannot quote anything from the amazing stories Emma has written for family members, as they are gifts to be given tonight and tomorrow.  But I can quote this, which Em wrote in response to my question – “Tell me one thing about Christmas?”

Emma wrote, “Christmas means love and family.”  (This, from an eleven year old.)

There is nothing more to say.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate and for everyone else, may you experience love and family, in whatever way those words may mean for you this holiday season.

26 responses to “Silence and the Words That Fill it

  1. Words — and the silence between them, around them, and instead of them — are all gifts…as long as they come from love!

  2. “Together,” word spoken or feeling shared in silence, is my year round wish for all. So glad you feel it and express it Emma. Peace, Peyton

  3. Merry Christmas!

  4. Merry Christmas to all, and a special Merry Christmas to those of us who don’t have family or anyone to share with–we can be each other’s family in spirit.

  5. This is wonderful, thank you, as ever, for sharing Emma’s journey. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Ariane. I can’t express how much your wise and insightful words have helped me this year. Thank you so much xx

  6. I just want to thank both you and Emma for your beautiful stories. They give me hope that one day my non-vocal ten-year-old will express more of the thoughts I know are inside his beautiful head. Merriest of Christmases to all of you!

  7. Your family is lucky to have Emma!

  8. Ariane, Merry Christmas to you and your family! And thank you so much for your writing and sharing. You and Emma inspired me to teach my little girl academic kindergarten, and she has grown and learned so much.

    I wanted to wish you all peace and hope this holiday season.


  9. Merry Christmas, Emma and family!

  10. Happy Holidays, Ariane and family. Love feeling part of this blog.
    Hope to meet in the new year.

  11. Merry Christmas to you all! With love, Alex.

  12. silent parts are necessary for a symphony’s power just as gifts like emma are vital to make our world whole. grateful b

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