Trevor Hayley


Funeral and Life Memorial Celebrant

A Caring Presence for you and your family so you can Celebrate a Life

Servicing Greater Adelaide, Fleurieu, South Coast and Adelaide Hills Regions of South Australia



Unexpected Silence

Is anybody out there #9

This blog continues on the series ‘The journey of silence” Feel free to read the previous chapters here

Writer’s note – this story started off with care for a recently widowed neighbour. But it is now gone to unexpected places, and seems to have taken on a life of its own. I trust you are enjoying this unfolding tale.

You have been neighbours for twenty years. You noticed something was up, and you had plucked up the courage to go and visit your neighbour Molly. What was awkward silence, has become a friendly silence, and a very special bond has formed, with conversation going to very, very unexpected places.

If last week had been transformative, nothing compared to the revelation this last week had been (refer to last blog). Although you had been the one helping, Molly had cut right to the very core of you, compelling you to take action. The future was now very bright, and you were seeing your husband, in a brand new way, for the very first time.

You did not quite know how to feel, as you drove down to the weekly ‘porch session’ with Molly. Maybe a little apprehensive, but at the same time, these conversations were just too compelling to miss.

As you got out of the car, Molly just smiled. Nothing more needed to be said. There was a knowing silence between you.

After a while “Wow” is all you could come up with.

There was something much bigger than the two of you happening here, and in the context of just sitting with Molly, this was OK. You venture “I saw some cars at your place, a couple of weeks ago. I assume that was your family coming to help with some of the stuff in your bedroom. How did that go?”

Molly just stared for a while, and tears welled up in her eyes.

‘Oh’ you think to yourself ‘this is unexpected. I better go gentle.’

“Are you able to talk with me about it?”

“You know it is funny” starts Molly “I thought I was all ready. Even a little excited. The family all came……they were all standing there……….conversation was good……..all seemed fine…………but then………..”

Molly could not hold it in any longer. She burst into tears.

Then you remembered getting the family involved was your idea.

“Molly, I did not mean………..” you start.

“No” Molly eventually says “it is OK, it was a great idea, at the time. Maybe I was not ready. It was our special place, and I was not ready to share it.”

“You think it would have been fine with family, but it just wasn’t” she continued.

The second cup of coffee was ordered. The first one had gone down really quick.

“You know” Molly continued “there has been one consistent, life saving thing, since his death, and that has been our porch sessions. You seem to understand better than anyone. I still remember the way you responded to the ‘set the sheets alight comment I made.’ That would have been enough for anyone, but you were so good with it.”

“I just had to remind myself, I had entered into your inner world, which has been such a privilege” you say.

Molly then ventured “and because of this, I think you are the one to help me sort through the stuff. I suppose, through our conversation, you have kind of already been in there. What do you think?”

You pause for a moment. This does not feel quite right, and you are scanning your brain for an answer. At the same time Molly is looking at you quite intently, hoping for an answer. Then it hits you.

“Molly” you start “is there one of your children, say one of your daughters who you would feel comfortable inviting into your space. I would be happy to be involved, if one of your family members was. This seems to be important for some reason.”

Molly thinks for a while “You know I think Jessica could be the one. I can see why you are hedging in this direction.”

“Yes I think that would be good” you reply “Would she be free to join us next week in a porch session? It feels like we all need an introduction before we go to your room.”

“Yes I reckon she would be.” says Molly.

“I will set it up. This feels like a good way forward. I feel like I need to do this. Having you and Jessica may be a good idea. Hopefully…………….”

“So are you OK?” you ask.

“Yes I think so.” Molly adds “I was a little disappointed with myself the other morning. But I really was not ready. This could be different.”

“I will look forward to it.”

As you drive away, you cannot believe where this has gone. It is so comfortable. What a privilege to be involved in such conversation. As you drive past the camellia bush, it is looking stunning.

And that evening, you share an amazing night with your husband. And you fall asleep in his arms again.

This commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio



Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

If you like to keep informed of my latest news, please subscribe to my monthly email newsletter, by clicking the link below.